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Houston’s Major Airport Selected for Gridlock Reducing, High-Tech Pilot Program

Houston, TX – (October, 2011) – More airline flights, passengers, and new private jobs in the aviation sector are anticipated in the wake of today’s announcement that Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) has been selected by the Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) to participate in a pilot program for the Next Generation Air Transportation System Infrastructure Project (NextGen) – which is the planned comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s airspace.

The pilot project involves installation of the Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) which is designed to reduce the traffic jams both in the air and on the tarmac, by allowing more aircraft to operate in the same airspace and assist aircraft in navigation for landings and take-offs.

The multimillion dollar system is currently being installed at IAH and is expected to be functional by early next year. “Houston Airports are among the most innovative and progressive in the nation when it comes to safely and efficiently connecting passengers to destinations around the globe and the prospect of creating more private jobs in the aviation sector is a focus for our airports and the city,” according to Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

The new Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility under construction at IAH will also serve as a critical component for the launch of NextGen systems by using newly installed and upgraded high tech equipment, while also implementing more fuel efficient and noise reducing procedures.

Houston TRACON manages movement of all aircraft from ground level to 10,000 feet around Houston’s two main airports. “The Houston Airport System is taking a leadership role in improving air travel around our nation by participating in this pilot project, which is expected to eliminate some of the clutter in our skies and lift the aviation industry to a new level,” says Mario Diaz, director of aviation for the city of Houston.

The GBAS system is based on a series of antennae that supplement ground based GPS systems – similar to those used in automobiles – by using satellite based technology. IAH is one of only two airports in the U.S. equipped with this groundbreaking technology aimed at providing more efficient aviation routes and air traffic control planning.

The Houston Airport System (HAS) served more than 49.5 million passengers in 2010, ranking as the 4th largest multi-airport system in the U.S. Houston’s three airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) contribute more than $27 billion to the regional economy. IAH is the 7th busiest airport in the nation and is the largest hub for the world’s largest airline. IAH and HOU offer 21 airlines providing nonstop flights to more than 180 destinations worldwide.

For more information, and follow us @IAH and @HobbyAirport.

HAS Communications
(281) 233-1234

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