United Airlines has announced plans to modernize and expand Terminal B at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The proposal, shared during a meeting of Houston City Council's Economic Development Committee, aims to enhance capacity and improve the travel experience for United Airlines passengers.

“I am thrilled to preview this exciting project that we are embarking on with United Airlines,” said Jim Szczesniak, chief operating officer for the Houston Airport System, during the meeting.

Szczesniak said improving IAH is crucial, as the airport system drives significant economic activity for the city of Houston, generating approximately $36.4 billion and 190,000 jobs annually.

“With this project, we aim to elevate the airport experience from a four-star to a five-star level, enhancing passenger satisfaction and further solidifying our position as a top-tier airport," Szczesniak said.

Michael Yost, United Airlines’ managing director for airport affairs, and Phil Griffith, the vice president of airport operations at IAH, highlighted several key points about the Terminal B redevelopment project. They emphasized United Airlines' commitment to growth, customer satisfaction and being a partner to the community.

The duo highlighted United Airlines’ significant fleet expansion—which entails replacing smaller aircraft with larger ones to improve efficiency—as one of the main factors driving the redevelopment project. To accommodate larger mainline aircraft, officials said Terminal B will need modifications, and Terminal B North will need to be demolished and rebuilt.

During construction, United Airlines officials said they aim to minimize disruptions and explore innovative technologies. Yost and Griffith also emphasized the importance of customer experience throughout the Terminal B redevelopment project.

According to the presentation, arriving travelers will be greeted by a new and visually appealing processor area located on the ground level. The roads and curbs will be thoughtfully redesigned to optimize customer flow with clear and informative wayfinding signage, ensuring a seamless transition from the road to the terminal.

For departing travelers, the redesigned departure core will provide convenient access to the ticketing hallway, which will be spacious and well lit, offering ample capacity for customer check-in and bag drop.

The next phase of the redevelopment project will include the addition of a new security checkpoint, leading passengers to the modern B North concourses. These concourses—similar to those of the existing Terminal C North—will feature expansive hold rooms with plenty of natural sunlight.

Additionally, officials noted travelers will have access to a variety of amenities, including concessions and retail opportunities, as well as adequate restroom facilities to meet passenger needs.

Upon returning to IAH, the Terminal B baggage claim area will also undergo a significant expansion, tripling its capacity. This expansion aims to streamline the process of retrieving luggage, minimizing wait times and facilitating a smooth transition for customers as they continue their journey.

In terms of a timeline, United Airlines officials said the goal is to have one of the new concourses open by mid-2026. The project is in the design process, and soon, enabling projects for employee parking, stormwater detention and utilities will commence. The construction of B North, B South and the processor area will be the primary focus starting in July.

According to the representatives, the project is anticipated to create over 2,000 direct jobs, thereby fostering employment growth within the city.