Houston and UAL agree to $1B airport rehab

August 11, 2011 |

The city of Houston and United Airlines have agreed to a billion-dollar deal to revamp George Bush Intercontinental Airport's Terminal B.

The plan is to transform the 42-year-old collection of commuter gates into a colossus that can accommodate 787s and offer travelers who get on and off them roomier lounges, additional restrooms and a wider variety of food.

Both sides say the agreement demonstrates United's commitment to Houston — 10 months after it merged with Continental and two months after the airline acknowledged that it will shed 1,500 corporate jobs.

The deal calls for United to put in $686 million and the Houston Airport System $288 million. Although the airport system is a city government function, it runs as a separate business and will not use tax money to finance the deal.

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