United Airlines and the Houston Airport System (HAS) have announced a landmark investment in United’s hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) with United’s Terminal B Transformation Program.
Valued at over $2 billion, the major IAH Terminal B Transformation Program seeks to accommodate a projected 36 million future passengers with brand new gates and amenities for travellers.
A Hub Redefined
United’s Terminal B Transformation Program is a testament to the airline’s dedication to being Houston’s carrier of choice.
Phil Griffith, United’s Vice President of IAH, expressed the airline’s sentiments, stating, “This investment further supports United’s position as Houston’s carrier of choice.”
With over 14,000 employees calling Houston home, the airline aims to enhance the travel experience for the 400 daily flights servicing the hub.
Elevating Convenience and Amenities
Travelers can anticipate a host of conveniences and amenities as part of the Terminal B transformation.
From an expanded curbside and roadway capacity to a revamped ticketing lobby, the focus is on seamless navigation. Dynamic signage, intuitive wayfinding systems, and a ground-level check-in area will enhance passenger convenience.
The third floor is set to house a streamlined security processing area, ensuring a swift and efficient pre-flight experience.
The heart of the transformation lies in the construction of the Terminal B North Concourse, spanning 765,000 square feet over three levels.
This space will house 22 narrow-body gates, accompanied by the impressive United ClubSM, set to become the largest in the United system.
The Terminal B South Concourse project will convert 30 gates, accommodating larger regional jets and ensuring all flights are boarded via jet bridge.
The Terminal B redesign caters to the diverse needs of travelers. From a sensory room to a United-branded “park” and comfort zones for passengers with disabilities, the focus is on inclusivity.
Additionally, two major concessions hubs will offer 115,000 square feet of state-of-the-art food and retail space, elevating the overall airport experience.
Economic Boost for Houston
The redevelopment of Terminal B isn’t just about transforming the travel experience; it’s also seen as a move to boost Houston’s economy.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner emphasized the positive impact, stating, “This redevelopment program will bring nearly 3,000 new jobs to Houston.”
The larger and more modern domestic terminal aligns with Houston’s status as a premier destination, fostering opportunities for economic development.
Funding and Approval
United Airlines is committed to investing over $1.9 billion in the Terminal B Transformation Program, with the City of Houston contributing $624 million for enabling projects.
The Houston City Council’s approval on November 15, 2023, marked a significant step forward. The funding structure, consistent with federal law, ensures recoverability over time through rates and charges payable by airlines and operators at IAH.
The Terminal B Transformation Program brings together a range of expertise. AvAirPros and STV lead the program management, with design contributions from Page, Grimshaw Architects, and PGAL.
Construction heavyweights Clark Construction and Manhattan Construction are set to bring these visionary designs to life. The collaboration emphasizes job creation and community involvement.
Greening the Skyline
Sustainability takes center stage in the Terminal B Transformation project. Aimed at achieving LEED Silver certification, the redevelopment aligns with global standards for environmental responsibility in building design and construction.
The integration of technology, passenger-centric design, and sustainable practices promises a world-class airport experience.