Hobby Airport (HOU)
William P. Hobby Airport
is Houston's 2nd busiest airport,
Hobby Airport is located about seven miles SE of downtown Houston, just west of the Gulf
Freeway (Hwy I-45).
First opened in 1927 as a private airfield, WT Carter Field, the airport was purchased by the City of Houston in 1937 and renamed Houston Municipal Airport.
In 1938, the airport was renamed Howard Hughes
Airport, in honor of a major benefactor and airport user. Within a few months, the name was changed back to HMA.. after the federal 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 service from HMA.
The 1950's were a time of major
change all across the USA, and airport construction
boomed. National and international flights became
commonplace, and infrastructure was needed to support air travel's
growing popularity. The main
airport passenger terminal was built, old runways improved, and new
runways added to facilitate landing new jet
aircraft. Dozens of private hangers and aviation
facilities were also added along the west
side of the airport.
The current name was given to the
airport in 1967, in honor of ex-governor William
P. Hobby. Mr. Hobby was also the owner of the
Houston Post newspaper.
In 1969, the first sections of the
new Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) were completed, and
Hobby's scheduled passenger traffic was all relocated to the new
airport. Hobby Airport continued to serve private
aviation as a "general aviation airport". Activity
included corporate flights, flight training, &
In 1971, Southwest Airlines
reinstituted scheduled passenger traffic to Hobby
airport. As IAH has become steadily more crowded, other
airlines have also setup operations at Hobby. Twelve commercial airlines currently serve Hobby Airport.
As Hobby Field is only a few miles from downtown Houston, as well as the massive oil refineries along the Houston Ship Channel, the airport is convenient for business travelers. Hobby Airport is also popular with college students from nearby University of Houston and Rice University, who travel on Southwest Airlines to destinations in Texas and the surrounding region.