Houston Airports Post Record-Breaking Year
- Written by Jeffry Tupa
A ccording to a 2013 year-end traffic report released today by the Houston Airport System, passenger traffic has risen to record-setting levels in two key areas: overall passenger traffic reached an all-time high at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and international traffic at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) reached levels never before seen in its 45-year history. The combined passenger totals from both airport facilities is up 1.2 percent over 2012 from 50.3 million passengers to 50.9 million passengers in 2013. The record-setting passenger total recorded at Hobby Airport in 2013 represents the fourth consecutive year that a new passenger record has been set. Passenger traffic increased by 6.4 percent from 10.4 million in 2012 to 11.1 million in 2013. Demand for travel from Hobby Airport is growing at a steady pace and has increased 34 percent in 10 years an increase of almost 3 million passengers since 2004. We are entering a very exciting period in the rich history of Hobby Airport, said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. Passengers are enjoying the results of a $350 million renovation program, international air service will be in place by 2016 and the facility is seeing more passengers than ever before. Its a very exciting time. New passenger records were also set at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, where growth in international passenger totals from 2013 fell just short of the 9 million mark. The 8.9 million international passengers from last year represented an increase of 2.5 percent up from 8.7 million passengers in 2012. George Bush Intercontinental Airport plays a key role in making sure that Houston is connected on a global scale, said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. That level of connectivity is important to our city, both from an economic standpoint as well as culturally. The record-setting passenger totals tell us that were doing a good job in making sure that connection is as strong as possible. The increase in international travel can be attributed to a number of factors, one of which is the arrival of new international air carriers. Air China and Turkish Airlines both launched nonstop service in Houston in 2013, flying to Beijing and Istanbul respectively. Air China recently expanded their Beijing route, moving from four flights per week to daily service. Bush Airport serves as a global gateway to 68 international destinations and offers service to more Mexican destinations than any other U.S. airport.