With the continued support of the City of Houston Aviation System, the Houston Aviation Club continues to flourish. The club hosted its third annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet on May 7 at the historical Hotel ICON in downtown Houston.
The Houston Aviation Club has students from Carnegie Vanguard and Ross Sterling High Schools. Toward the end of the school year, the students completed a drone project that focused on innovation and teamwork. Prizes for first, second and third place were awarded. The students flew the drones near Ellington Airport.
A total of $6,000 in scholarships and five internships were awarded. The Houston Aviation Club continues to be a valuable asset to the community.
Members of the Houston Aviation Club at the third annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet.
Visit the Houston Aviation Club website for more information.
HAS Director of Community Relations and Business Relations Rhonda Arnold was named by the Houston Chapter of Women in TransportationInternational as their 2015 “Woman of the Year.” Arnold, center, was awarded for her work to advance women in transportation through programs and other contributions. Above from left are Meredith Alberto of Women in Transportation; Jarrett Simmons, HAS assistant director of planning, development and construction; Arnold; Jeanne Julien of WTS; and Lisa Garner, P.E., WTS Houston's 2015 Young Engineer of the Year.
With nearly 6,000 members, WTS is an international organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women.
Houston Airport System employees gave generously during the city's 2014 charity fundraising drive, the Combined Municipal Campaign. And recently their efforts were recognized at the CMC recognition ceremony with two awards.
HAS was praised for having the highest increase of employees participation and highest percentage of employees who committed to donating 1 percent or more of their salary.
HAS employee participation jumped from 46 percent in 2013 to a sky-high 100 percent in 2014. Total donations increased by $14,067.
CMC committee revved up participation through its nine themed events, including the Breast Cancer Ice Cream Social on Oct. 7 that benefited the Susan G. Komen charity.
“This is the one time a year that you get to pick your own charities,” said Melissa Saxton, Ellington Airport management analyst IV and HAS CMC co-chair. “Whatever it is you desire, this is your opportunity to donate. You can donate money or participate in the events as a form of donating.”
The Houston Airport System posted recording-setting passenger traffic numbers in 2014, according to a year-end traffic report.
More than 53.1 million passengers filtered through Houston airports last year — a 4.5 percent increase that eclipsed the previous record of 50.9 million passengers in 2013.
“This is an exciting time for the city and for the Houston Airport System,” Mayor Annise Parker said. “The development we see all around Houston is mirrored by the steady growth at our airports — the kind of numbers that befit the fastest-growing major city in the United States. We’ve been remarkably successful in attracting new international air service to Houston and are moving forward with investments and projects that will ensure that growth continues.”
Both Bush Intercontinental Airport and Hobby Airport saw their total passenger traffic jump. Bush set record highs in both combined passenger totals — more than 41.2 million in both domestic and international passengers, a 3.6 percent increase — and in the number of international passengers — more than 9.8 million, a 9.2 percent increase from 2013’s 8.9 million. The airport also saw a 2 percent increase in domestic passengers, up to more than 31.4 million.
Not to be outdone, Hobby Airport saw more than 11.9 million passengers, a 7.5 percent increase over the previous-record 11.1 million of 2013. The growing numbers are nothing new. Demand for travel from Hobby Airport has increased steadily over the past decade, growing by more than 34 percent over the past 10 years.
Volaris Airlines will add nonstop service between Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Guadalajara, Mexico, beginning in March. The route is part of Volaris' efforts to expand its network of flights connecting Mexico and the U.S.
Volaris has begun selling tickets. The flights will originate from Guadalajara International Airport three days a week. Flights are available for booking starting at an inaugural fare of $114, with the buy-ahead approach and Volaris’ pay-per-service plan — “Tú Decides” — that allows travelers to specifically select those services they need for their trip.
William P. Hobby Airport is approaching the final year of construction on a new five-gate International concourse. Along with the arrival of a new 3,000-space parking garage, the new building will help to facilitate the return of commercial international air travel at Hobby.
Both of these projects, and a dramatically improved bi-level roadway system, are scheduled for completion in late 2015.
Customers and airport employees both received some good news surrounding the projects in January, as a significant portion of the necessary roadway modifications was completed well ahead of schedule.
“This was a whole airport effort that required lots of pre-planning,” said Hobby’s Senior Project Manager Bill White.
The ramp opened Dec. 16, two days early after 26 houses of non-stop work efforts.
“Customers experienced minimal impact to their airport experience and level of service due to the project being finished ahead of schedule,” said Houston Airport System (HAS) Operational Readiness & Airport Transfer Team Manager Gabrielle Dirden.
The purpose of the closure was to facilitate the placement of 40 concrete beams adjacent to the ramp that would support the future international facility and terminal roadway. As a result of the closure, all vehicular passenger traffic was re-routed to the arrival (lower) ramp.
For more information on the new International Terminal at HOU, please visit www.Fly2Houston.com/HobbyInternational.
Arturo Machuca, Houston Airport System (HAS) Manager of Business Development who is leading the efforts to bring a Houston Spaceport to Ellington Airport, has been named the general manager of Ellington Airport.
Machuca will oversee the daily operations of the facility and the development and implementation of policies and procedures. He will coordinate the preparation and monitoring of the Ellington Airport budget and expenditures.
Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz appointed Machuca in December.
"Arturo Machuca demonstrates a strong commitment to delivering outstanding customer service for the Houston Airport System," Diaz said. "Arturo’s expertise and vision are just two of the reasons he is leading efforts to bring the spaceport project to fruition at Ellington, and those assets will help in strengthening our mission to exceed customer expectations at Ellington Airport.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity and responsibility,” Machuca said. “Ellington is a growing facility — one with limitless potential and a talented staff that embraces the Houston Airport System’s commitment to excellence. Together, we can continue the growth and success we have seen and continue to provide great service to our customers.”
With more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the aviation industry, Machuca joined the Houston Airport System in 2009. As the Manager of Business Development he oversaw economic development, industry affairs and business relations.
Three years ago, Machuca was tasked with the huge responsibility of developing a plan to bring a commercial spaceport to Ellington. Machuca worked with various Federal and local agencies, as well as key players in the aerospace industry, to create preliminary plans and conceptual drawings to pursue a license to bring commercial spaceflights to Ellington Airport. He will remain as the lead for the Houston Spaceport project.
"Commercial spaceports are another example of aviation’s pioneering spirit,” Machuca said. “They represent a partnership between the host airport facility and private enterprise. It is a collaborative model that already has led to the creation of a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States and that's certainly the type of partnership we envision for the Houston Spaceport project as it continues to move forward."