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Construction Commences on $2.6 Billion Terminal B Revamp at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport Amid Funding Dispute

Despite an ongoing disagreement among city officials over funding, construction workers initiated the groundbreaking for a $2.6 billion transformation of Terminal B at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport this week. The ceremony, held at the North Concourse of Terminal C on Thursday, drew a crowd of several hundred people. Mayor Sylvester Turner addressed the audience, emphasizing the economic and reputational advantages the expansion would bring to Houston, a host city for the FIFA 2026 World Cup.

Turner highlighted the projected creation of nearly 3,000 jobs and asserted that the enhanced domestic terminal, once completed, would elevate Houston’s standing as a premier destination. The mayor linked the project’s completion to the timing of the World Cup, foreseeing additional opportunities for economic development. The plan, subject to final approval from the city council, entails the construction of 40 new gates to accommodate the expansion of United Airlines’ fleet, with a focus on accommodating Airbus’ A321neo aircraft.

United Airlines Chief Operating Officer Toby Enqvist underscored the significance of the new gates, specifically designed for the A321neo, United’s latest addition. The ambitious project also features two major concessions hubs, boasting over 115,000 square feet of food and retail space, a modernized baggage handling system with tracking technology, and an expanded curbside check-in area.

The official launch of the project follows City Controller Chris Brown’s recent refusal to approve a memorandum of agreement between the City of Houston and United Airlines for the next phase of renovations on Terminal B. Mayor Turner contested Brown’s decision, questioning the rationale behind it when the funds were available. Turner sought clarification from the city attorney to ensure the controller’s actions were within the scope of his office. Brown has yet to certify the allocation of city funds for the project, stating that he will withhold certification until an updated feasibility study of the $600 million investment is presented.