William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)

NEWS - May 29, 2012
Southwest Airlines continues quest for expansion

Hobby Airport appears to be inching closer to approval of international flights by Southwest Airlines, as backing of the plan is declared by Mayor Anise Parker, State Rep. John E. Davis, and several city council members.

For the last several months, Southwest Airlines has been trying to gain approval for its plan to turn Houston Hobby Airport into Houston's second international air transport hub. The proposed flights to and from Hobby would create new links to Mexico and many Caribbean destinations.

Southwest has offered to invest the $100 million needed to build 5 international passenger gates and a new customs facility at the airport. If approved by the City of Houston, the extensive building program would take several years, with flights possibly starting in 2015.

United Airlines has opposed the plan, citing concerns that expanding international flights at Hobby Airport will take business away from their own international flight operations at Houston Bush airport.

Southwest claims that adding its international flights at Houston Hobby will bring 18,000 new jobs to the area, while United claims that 3,700 jobs will be lost.

Houston City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to allow building permits for the project, at the May 30, 2013 council meeting.

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