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George Bush Intercontinental Airport, (IATA: IAH, ICAO: KIAH, FAA LID: IAH) or Houston Intercontinental Airport, as it was originally known, opened in June 1969. All passenger traffic from William P. Hobby Airport moved to Intercontinental upon the airport's completion. Hobby remained open as a general aviation airport and reopened two years later to domestic routes and discount air carriers.
 

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Houston Airport (IAH)

Houston Airport

Houston Intercontinental had been scheduled to open in 1967, but design changes regarding the terminals created cost overruns and construction delays. The prime contractor, R.F. Ball Construction of San Antonio, sued the city of Houston for $11 million in damages, but assistant city attorney Joseph Guy Rollins, Jr. successfully defended the municipality on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. The airport was named "Intercontinental" instead of "International" as Hobby airport had long been known as Houston International Airport. Since the opening of the airport, Houston citizens have jokingly called it the "Intergalactic" airport.

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In the late 1980s, Houston City Council considered a plan to rename the airport after Mickey Leland—an African-American congressman who died in an aviation accident in Ethiopia. The city—instead of renaming the whole airport—named the Mickey Leland International Airlines Building, which would later become Mickey Leland Terminal D, after Leland. Houston renamed the airport George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston, after George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, in 1997.


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