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$1 Billion Redevelopment Project at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport to Begin

HOUSTON, May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Airport System in partnership with United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) today announced that construction on the first phase of the $1 billion redevelopment project at Bush Intercontinental Airport will begin by the end of the year. Phase one of the three-phase project will create a new Terminal B south concourse dedicated to domestic regional jet operations.

In addition, United announced that it is extending its lease on Terminal C at Bush Intercontinental Airport to 2027.

Built in 1969 as one of the airport's two original terminals, Terminal B has reached its maximum capacity. The $161 million south concourse project will replace the existing south side flight stations with a 225,000 square foot facility to accommodate United's fleet of regional aircraft, allowing for both operational flexibility and a better customer experience by providing improved and expanded gate lounge space, concessions and restroom facilities.

The new Terminal B south concourse will feature:

  • A wide connecting bridge to a modern central passenger lounge
  • Spacious passenger lounge areas with ample concession choices, restroom facilities and expansive tarmac views
  • A high-efficiency boarding process that will allow for up to 30 flights to depart through three main boarding zones
  • Durable and modern interior finishes
  • A flexible gate layout that will accommodate aircraft today and in the future
  • A design that incorporates energy-efficient techniques using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria

"As the largest hub for the largest airline in the world, Bush Intercontinental is positioned to serve the world as United builds its global network," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "Our airport serves as one of the most important economic engines in Houston and we are committed to expanding the portal to our global business connections."

"This project and the extension of our Terminal C lease to 2027 clearly demonstrate United's commitment to Houston and will help Houston maintain its status as an international city," said Jeff Smisek, United's president and CEO. "Houston is United's largest hub, and our investment will open opportunities for additional growth."

Plans for future phases of the $1 billion redevelopment project include:

  • Redevelopment of the central Terminal B lobby and baggage claim areas
  • A new international-capable north concourse for mainline and regional jet flights
  • A new Terminal B Federal Inspections Services (FIS) facility
  • Infrastructure improvements (which include improvements to existing roadway, signage, utilities and fuel-storage systems)

Construction of the entire redevelopment project is planned over the next seven to 10 years, with phase one expected to be completed in late 2013.

The Houston Airport System is partnering with United on the project, and the new construction will be a significant investment into the local economy by creating many jobs.

"Together, we serve millions of customers at an important international gateway and by investing in our infrastructure, we are ensuring that we may serve even more global passengers for many more years," said Mario Diaz, Houston Airport System Director of Aviation.

About Houston Airport System

The Houston Airport System (HAS) served more than 49.5 million passengers in 2010, ranking as the 4th largest multi-airport system in the U.S. Houston's three airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) contribute more than $24 billion to the regional economy. IAH is the 7th busiest airport in the nation and is the largest hub for the world's largest airline. IAH and HOU offer 21 airlines providing nonstop flights to more than 180 destinations worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us @IAH and @HobbyAirport.

About United Continental Holdings, Inc.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is the holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Together with United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connection, these airlines operate an average of 5,820 flights a day to 373 airports on six continents from their hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. United and Continental are members of Star Alliance, which offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries. United and Continental's more than 80,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. For more information about United Continental Holdings, Inc., go to For more information about the airlines, see and or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE United Continental Holdings, Inc.

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