NEWS -May 30, 2012
Southwest Airlines expansion APPROVED!
Houston City Council today approved permits that will allow Southwest Airlines to build additional passender terminals and custom facilities to accomodate international air traffic at Houston Hobby Airport.
Southwest will still have to obtain permits from the FAA, but assuming that the permits are issued, international flights from Hobby should begin in 2015.
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 been fighting the plan, due to fear that expanding international flights to Hobby Airport will take business away from their own international flight operations at Houston Bush airport.
In competing claims, 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, during the May 30 council meeting.