The George Bush Intercontinental Airport’s Terminal (IAT) B transformation programme is expected to create a new air travel experience. The airport served more than 40.9 million passengers in 2022 while the Terminal B redevelopment is aimed at handling approximately 36 million passengers a year.
The airport operator Houston Airport System and United Airlines partnered for the $1.9bn transformation programme that will refurbish and extend the concourses of Terminal B North and South to improve passenger experience.
The transformation will add 40 new gates for both domestic and international passengers to support United Airlines’ United Next programme aimed at expanding the airline’s fleet.
Construction on the terminal redevelopment is anticipated to commence in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024 while commissioning is expected in July 2026. The project is expected to generate approximately 3,000 jobs in Houston.
The George Bush Intercontinental Airport is located 37km north of Downtown Houston in Texas.
The airport is served by 27 passenger airlines offering flights to more than 180 destinations.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport Terminal B redevelopment details
The George Bush Intercontinental Airport Terminal B redevelopment project includes three main components – the Terminal B North expansion, the Terminal B South concourse project, and the central processor project.
The new buildings of the redevelopment project are designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) Silver certification. The buildings will feature state-of-the-art technology and a passenger-focused design, and incorporate sustainable processes to deliver a world-class airport experience.
The Terminal B North expansion will replace the existing flight stations built in 1969 with a new concourse B that optimises the apron space and the number of narrow-body gates. The new concourse will span 765,000ft2 across three levels and accommodate a maximum of 22 gates in a double-pier configuration.
The two piers will be connected by a main concession centre offering 115,000m2 of modern food and retail space to provide a unique dining and shopping experience to passengers.
The concourse will feature a sensory room and an interactive United-branded multimedia park along with comfort zones for passengers with disabilities.
A ground-level check-in area and a simplified security processing area will be developed on the third floor. Furthermore, the mezzanine level will be home to a United Club, which is set to be the biggest club in the entire United system, providing an unobstructed view of the airport.
Terminal B South concourse project details
The Terminal B South concourse project involves the renovation of the existing south concourse, which is currently used by smaller, 50-seat regional jets. The 30 existing gates of the concourse will be renovated to accommodate larger, two-class regional jets such as the double-class E175 planes.
The concourse is designed to allow maximum natural light and air. Its interiors are inspired by the Texas region while the ceilings and floors are designed based on the directional flow of passengers to support easier wayfinding.
Central processor project details
The Terminal B redevelopment project also includes the central processor project, which comprises the expansion of the baggage claim area to accommodate the additional capacity. A new baggage handling system featuring cutting-edge baggage tracking technology will be installed.
The kerbside and road capacity will be increased and the ticketing hall will be expanded along with the addition of a security checkpoint, airline, and airport support spaces and concessions. Dynamic signage and wayfinding systems will also be added to the terminal.
Houston City is expected to provide $624m in funding for the implementation of the transformation programme.
The programme management team comprising AvAirPros, an aviation consulting and management company, and STV, an engineer, will oversee the transformation programme.
Architect PGAL is responsible for the design of the Terminal B North concourse while Manhattan Construction, a construction company, will be responsible for the construction.
F S Group Architects is responsible for the design of the south concourse of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport Terminal B.
The central processor facilities are designed by architects Page and Grimshaw Architects while Clark Construction is responsible for the construction.
The baggage handling system will be designed and supplied by Siemens.