Hobby Airport (HOU)
William P. Hobby Airport
is Houston's 2nd busiest airport,
William P. Hobby International Airport is a commercial & general aviation airport located about seven miles SE of downtown Houston, just west of the Gulf
Freeway ( US Highway - Interstate 45).
Originally established in 1927 as a private airfield named WT Carter Field, the City of Houston purchased the airport in 1937 and renamed it Houston Municipal Airport.
In 1938, the airport was briefly renamed Howard Hughes
Airport, in honor of a major benefactor and airport user. The name was soon changed back to HMA, after the US government informed Houston that
no federal funds would be granted to any facility named
after a living person.
During the 1940's, major
improvements were made to runways and airport buildings. It stayed busy during World War II, and by
1950, four airlines provided
regular passenger service from HMA.
As national and international flights became
commonplace in the 1950's, a new main
airport passenger terminal was built, old runways improved, and new &
improved runways added to facilitate landing jet
aircraft. Dozens of private hangers and aviation
facilities were added along Telephone Road on the airport's west side.
The current name was given to the
airport in 1967, in honor of ex-governor and
Houston Post newspaper owner William
In 1969, the first sections of the
new Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) were completed, and
Hobby's scheduled passenger traffic was relocated to IAH. Hobby Airport continued to serve private
aviation as a "general aviation airport", which
included FBO operations, corporate flights, flight training, &
In 1971, Southwest Airlines
reinstituted scheduled domestic passenger traffic at Hobby
airport. As IAH became more crowded, other
airlines also began operations at Hobby. Twelve commercial airlines currently serve Hobby Airport.
The airport is convenient for business travelers, as it is only a few miles from downtown Houston, as well as near the massive oil refinery complex along the Houston Ship Channel. College students from nearby University of Houston and Rice University alsofind it convenient for travel to destinations in Texas and the surrounding region. Southwest's newly scheduled non-stop international flights to popular Caribbean vacation destinations is expected to greatly expand that traffic.
Financed by SW Airlines, the new international passenger terminal was completed in 2016. It added additional loading gates, customs facilities and a new parking garage.
Southwest Airlines began international flights to Aruba from Houston Hobby International Airport on May 9, 2015 and now provides service to an expanded list of international destinations.