Southwest Airlines has unveiled updated renderings of its new terminal at William P. Hobby Airport, a 280,000-square-foot facility that will host the carrier's first international flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and cities in Central and South America.
Dallas-based Corgan Associates is the lead architect and designer on the project, which includes five gates equipped for international operations (four of them preferentially leased to Southwest), expansion of the existing ticket counter area and the reconfiguration and expansion of the security checkpoint.
Bob Montgomery, Southwest's vice president of airport affairs, described the concept as "open, airy and easy to navigate" at a news conference. It was designed to fit in seamlessly with the existing terminal and surrounding infrastructure projects at Hobby.
To ease traffic flow on the exterior, the vehicle approach will feature an additional curbside drop off location and an additional check-in hall access point. In February, the Houston Airport System indicated that it would finance a new parking garage (equipped with a smart parking spot locator system and 2,500 spaces), roadway modifications and curb extensions.
The estimated $156 million terminal expansion, which will be fully funded by the airline in exchange for rent-free use of four gates over a 25-year lease, is expected to break ground at the end of September for completion in late 2015.