Yesterday, city council approved an agreement that will allow Southwest Airlines to go ahead with plans to expand Hobby Airport for international flights. The short-pants airline will foot the $150 million bill to add up to 280,000 sq. ft. to the terminal, including a new concourse and ticket counter, six security lanes, five gates, and a customs inspection hub. The plan, pictured above, also includes restructured roadways and a new parking garage with 2,500 spaces, mutating one of the wings of an airport designed as though it might be itself ready for takeoff:
Those “entry roadway modifications” and the parking garage are expected to cost the Houston airport system about $67 million. Flights to Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean are expected to begin in 2016; Mayor Parker, reports the Houston Chronicle, says that she might consider adding “international” to the airport’s name.
- City Council OKs deal with Southwest for Hobby expansion [Houston Chronicle]
- Houston City Council approves Southwest Airlines expansion at Hobby Airport [abc13]
- Hobby International Expansion [Fly2Houston]
- Hobby Airport’s international expansion plans revealed [Houston Business Journal]