In 1937, the city of Houston
purchased an already existing private airport at this
site, and renamed it Houston Municipal
Airport. To honor a major benefactor and user of
the airport, it was renamed Howard Hughes
Airport in 1938.
The name was soon 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 the runways and buildings at
the airport. It stayed busy during World War II, and by
the end of that decade there were four airlines providing
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 the
growing popularity of air travel.
The current main
airport passenger terminal was constructed, old runways improved, and new
runways added to facilitate landing the new jet
A number of private hangers and aviation
facilities were also constructed, mostly 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 Intercontinental Airport (IAH) were completed, and
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. There are
currently 12 commercial airlines serving Hobby with