HOUSTON – Concerns are continuing to take off at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The airport’s $1.3 billion construction project is leading to long lines and frustrated travelers outside of Terminal E pickup.
“Having traveled in and out of intercontinental last week, I can speak firsthand on some of the issues I’ve seen,” said David Robinson, Houston City Councilmember and the chair of the Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee.
KPRC 2 has told you about the hour-long wait times outside of Terminal E, but now, there are new concerns.
Construction means there are no bathrooms inside the waiting area at Terminal E pick up.
“I didn’t know that. No, I didn’t,” Robinson said. “I was not aware of that.”
“It takes six minutes to get to a bathroom if you don’t take the subway, which we know the subway is pretty small. How do you react to that? A 6-minute walk?” KPRC 2 reporter Sabirah Rayford asked Robinson.
“Well, first of all, that’s bad.,” he responded. “That needs to be addressed. I don’t know how it could have come to that.”
When international travelers exit the customs area, there’s a digital display warning them that there aren’t bathrooms in the pickup area.
If you need to go to the bathroom once you’re in Terminal E pick up, you’ll have to go down the escalator and walk or take the subway.
The elevators in the Terminal E pick-up are currently closed and are scheduled to reopen on June 6.
“How could someone somehow miss the fact that there’s going to be bathrooms out of circulation. I think that’s a different question that needs to be asked,” Robinson said.
“Are you concerned about the potential stain this is leaving on the city,” KPRC 2 reporter Sabirah Rayford asked.
“I believe as the expression goes… it’s part of making an omelet, you have to break a few eggs,” he said. “So, this is the unfortunate matter of the ingredients.”
Robinson said some traffic relief is coming in six weeks. However, he said there’s more to look into.
“I appreciate your reporting, first of all, bringing some of these issues to the public’s attention and calling on public officials to address it,” he said. “So, that’s where I will go from here. It’s certainly part of my responsibility that I will work on these things and try to get some solutions for us.”
Robinson said he’s planning to reach out to the Director of the Airport, Mario Diaz.
KPRC2 reached out to Diaz, but he declined our request for an interview.
Houston Airports sent us the following response:
There are restrooms in the bag claim area of the Customs Hall. After clearing Customs, arriving passengers are met with signage and agents advising them that if they are not making a connecting flight, they should use the bathrooms in the “recheck” area before leaving the hall.
For individuals coming to greet passengers in the International Arrivals area, they are directed to use the walkway to Terminal D, which is approximately a 3-5 minute walk.
In the next three weeks, temporary restroom facilities will be made available for the international arrivals hall.
Please note this is a temporary situation as construction advances in Terminal E.
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