CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE WELCOMES HOUSTON AIRPORT SYSTEMS APPLICATION FOR EXPANSION AT HOUSTON HOBBY FOR INTERNATIONAL GATES
May 31, 2012 -
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Ranking Member on the Transportation Security Subcommittee and a Senior Member of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee released the flowing statement regarding the Houston airport systems application for expansion at Houston Hobby for international gates:
“I want to acknowledge the work of the Houston City Council on the final vote regarding Southwest Airlines application for international gates at Hobby Airport. As a Member of the Homeland Security Committee I expect to be extensively involved in discussions with the United States of Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and agencies dealing with Houston’s application. We should always look for ways to ease the concerns and improve the logistics for the traveling public. However my responsibility will be to ensure the best use of Houstonians federal tax dollars and the best use of tax dollars utilized by our federal agencies.
“There are several issues that I expect to review with both airline companies and with the city of Houston. Those issues include the following:
1) What is the added premium to the city of Houston beyond the $100 million dollars being allocated for building of the extra gates?
2) How will the necessary expanded infrastructure for the surrounding airport be paid for?
3) The requests for federal dollars has expanded but federal resources have contracted. What strategies will the city of Houston use to advocate for more federal funding for these new inspectors?
4) What are the documented and specific job gains and job losses?
5) What discussions are ongoing with respect to the Department of Labor requirements and adherence to those requirements?
6) What are the steps being taken to begin the necessary relationships with the new airports in the designated foreign nations?
7) What discussions have occurred with the city of Houston that will allow both airlines to work together on the most effective plan to go forward that will more effectively enhance international travel in Houston for Houstonians taking into account scarce federal resources?
“It is important to have vigorous federal oversight to do what is right for the Houston community and travelers. My office looks forward to working with my colleagues on behalf of our constituents. We will be meeting with the airline representatives and the necessary federal agencies in the very near future.”