On Wednesday, Houston’s two main airports earned an honor that Mayor Sylvester Turner says no other city in the Western Hemisphere can claim.
Mario Diaz, Director of Aviation, came to City Hall early Wednesday afternoon to announce that both George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport had received 4-star ratings from Skytrax, a top airport rating agency, about 20 minutes earlier in Stockholm, Sweden.
Diaz said that distinction makes Houston just the third city in the world, behind Tokyo and Seoul, to have two airports with four-star ratings.
The only other U.S. airports with four-star ratings are in San Francisco and Cincinnati.
Wednesday’s announcement marks the first time Bush Airport has received a 4-star rating and the third year in a row for Hobby.
“This is not a popularity contest,” said Diaz. “This is a very rigid set of criteria that we were able to pass.”
Mayor Sylvester Turner said Houston’s airports received high marks for their automated security lanes, interactive information from mobile phones, cleanliness, and website.
“For business passengers, tourists, and others, airports are a part of Houston that say hello and good bye,” said Mayor Turner. “I’m very proud that we welcome millions of people every year and send them off as well with this distinguishing rating.”
Diaz says he and other airport officials are striving for five-star status and have already taken steps toward achieving that designation, including translating the entire airport website to Spanish.
Diaz says the city also is planning a complete translation to Mandarin Chinese within a few months.