The USA has quite a few airports named after ex-presidents: John F. Kennedy International Airport
in New York City
, and Reagan National Airport
in Washington, D.C.
In this context, it's almost unusually fitting that Houston, Texas
's own international gateway should be named for the elder George Bush
, one of Houston's more famous residents.
IAH opened in June of 1969 as Houston Intercontinental Airport, and Bush, who was representing the city in the House of Representatives, attended the opening ceremony. At first, IAH took over all of Houston's air traffic from the older William P. Hobby Airport, but Hobby later returned as Intercontinental became too crowded. Bush's name was added in 1997.
Twenty airlines serve the airport. Continental Airlines has its largest hub there, and is joined by Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Air Jamaica, American Trans Air, America West Airlines, American Airlines, Aviacsa, British Airways, Cayman Airways, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Grupo TACA, KLM, Lufthansa, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. Together, these airlines serve over 150 cities.
There are four terminals, lettered A through D, connected by an airport train. Most domestic airlines use A, Northwest and Continental Express use B, Continental uses C, and international flights use D. A and B have circular satellite terminals connected to the landside by corridors, while C and D (added in the 1980's) have piers. Both A and D are currently being expanded to accommodate more aircraft, a move which I wouldn't characterize as being prudent at this juncture.
NOTE: Don't let the softlinks fool you: the airport is not named for George W. Bush. This is his father we're talking about.