Construction on Houston IAH Airport D West Pier progresses

Aerial view of new terminal development at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston.
Photo Credit: Gilblane Building Company

Recently, over 350 people gathered to celebrate the topping out of the new D West Pier at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston TX.

When the project is complete, the international carrier gate capacity will increase to 18 as part of the MLIT Program. This new state-of-art facility will highlight IAH as a premier global gateway.

The current development programme represents the most extensive capital improvement in the airport’s history to date.

As part of an ongoing project, Gilbane Building Company and their joint venture partner, Austin Commercial, are giving one of the busiest airports in the United States a significant expansion and refurbishment to maintain its momentum as an international hub.

“The topping out event was a big success for not only the Austin-Gilbane joint venture team but for the Houston aviation community as a whole,” said Russ Gyvel, Senior Project Manager.

“We are delighted to reach this significant milestone in the project and are looking ahead to the finish line in what promises to be a grand addition to ‘H-Town’s’ travel hub.”

Largest development in airport history

The project is a part of the Houston Airport System’s (HAS) International Terminal Redevelopment Program (ITRP), and will be the most extensive capital improvement program undertaken in the history of HAS.


The project scope includes a new pier to accommodate six wide-body international airplanes and a new sterile corridor to funnel passengers to the Federal Inspection Services Facility, part of the ITRP undertaking.

This new D West Pier and concourse will include modern finishes, expansive ceilings, a unique exterior curtainwall/glass wall feature, expanded concessions, and other support facilities.

The project also includes refurbishing the existing Terminal D departures areas, including mechanical, electrical, and life safety systems, and a new interior aesthetic upgrade to the associated gates and seating areas for passengers.

The project commenced in 2020 with the demolition of the C North concourse (originally built in 1980) and will be substantially completed at the end of 2023.

Above: A view of Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, shortly after takeoff on a Continental Airlines flight to Kansas City – Friday 28 July 2006. Photo Credit: JOHN ROEVER from Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

IAH Airport history

The George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is an international airport located in Houston, Texas, USA.

In 1957, Houston’s original main airport, William P. Hobby Airport, became too small to handle the growing demand for air travel. Subsequently, the city decided to build a new airport that could accommodate larger aircraft and greater passenger numbers.

The new airport was originally named “Houston Intercontinental Airport” and was located on a 10,000-acre site north of downtown Houston.

Above: George Bush Intercontinental Airport 2009. Photo Credit: dave_7 from Lethbridge, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Construction of the airport began in 1963, and the first flight took off from the airport’s new terminal in June 1969.

In 1997, the airport was renamed in honor of George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, who had lived in Houston for many years.

Over the years, the airport has undergone several expansions and upgrades to keep up with the increasing demand for air travel.

In present day, it remains one of the busiest airports in the United States, serving millions of passengers each year and offering flights to destinations all around the world.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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