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Houston City Council Approves Expansion Plans for Hobby Airport

Southwest Airlines growth and increased demand result in a $470 million project.

By Amy Durham

airport concourse with white details and a blue sky behind it in Houston
Rendering of the West Concourse expansion at Hobby Airport | | Courtesy of William P. Hobby Airport

The Houston City Council has unanimously greenlit the first phase of a substantial $470 million investment plan aimed at expanding the West Concourse at William P. Hobby Airport. The expansion is slated to begin in early 2024 and span a two-year timeframe.

The key features of the expansion include seven new gates that can accommodate both domestic and international flights, renovation of the baggage handling system and claim area, and an overhead canopy along the departures curb, connecting the red garage and the terminal.

In anticipation of heightened demand from Southwest Airlines passengers, the city council had previously granted Houston Airports access to an initial $20 million from airport funds for the planning and design phase of the expansion project in March 2022. Subsequently, the council approved an allocation of $250 million from airport funds for the construction phase. Houston Airports intends to present a supplemental appropriation request of $200 million to the city council over the next 12 to 15 months, which would top out the budget of $470 million for the project.

interior of an aiport concourse with sunlight through windows
Rendering of the West Concourse expansion interior at Hobby Airport | | Courtesy of William P. Hobby Airport

The expansion is set to carry forward the airport’s modern design, abundant natural light, and its signature “Houston Friendly” ambiance. Additionally, it will create space for dining options, retail outlets, and art installations, enhancing the overall traveler experience.

William P. Hobby Airport, located less than 10 miles south of downtown Houston, is the only 5-Star Skytrax airport in North America. In 2022, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the airport accommodated over 913,000 international passengers and more than 12.2 million domestic travelers. The airport serves 83 destinations, with five major passenger airlines operating out of it: Southwest, Allegiant, American, Delta, and Frontier. Southwest Airlines employs over 5,000 people in Houston, with a substantial portion stationed at Hobby Airport.

fly2houston.com

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