United nears completion of new terminal at Houston airport

Washington DC
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United Airlines is wrapping construction of the last 15 gates at its new regional facility in terminal B at Houston George Bush Intercontinental airport.

Construction of the building was completed in December and exterior work, including paving and hydrant fuelling, will be finished in January, according to a recent employee newsletter.

"The facility itself is beautiful," says Dave Brandenburg, corporate real estate design and construction director at Chicago-based United, in the newsletter. "Our customers love the increased space and the modern features. We expect all the final work to be done in the next few weeks."

The first 15 gates of the 30-gate, 20,903m2 (225,000ft2) facility on the south side of the existing terminal B at Intercontinental opened on 1 May 2013.

The new section will open in February, says the Houston Airport System, which operates the airport.

The $100 million project is the first phase of United and the city of Houston's $1 billion, three-phase redevelopment plan for Intercontinental. However, later phases may be postponed indefinitely after a threat by the airline to cut planned capacity at Intercontinental by 8% after the city approved a new international arrivals facility for Southwest Airlines at Hobby airport in May 2012.

Construction of phase one began in January 2012.