Council Member Oliver Pennington Supports City Deal with Southwest Airlines
Due to the favorable terms for the taxpayers of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the City and Southwest Airlines, and the overwhelming support displayed by his constituents, Houston City Council Member Oliver Pennington will vote to approve the MOA announced yesterday by Houston Mayor Annise Parker to allow Southwest to fly internationally out of Hobby Airport.
(A study released by the Mayor's Office today finds that the addition of international service at William P. Hobby Airport would have a positive economic impact. News Release)
This MOA requires Southwest to cover all costs related to the construction of the five gates and the required customs facility. No taxes or new passenger fees will be expended to benefit Southwest. Pennington has stressed during the public and private meetings that Southwest should be required to contribute to this venture rather than the passengers being saddled with additional fees. “I am pleased Southwest has stepped up to the plate. I know the flying public doesn’t want additional fees and taxes to support this project. There will be no additional costs to the passengers associated with this project and furthermore, the City’s taxpayers will assume no risk,” Pennington said.
In his discussions with the Administration, Pennington stressed the need to allow for competition to Southwest at Hobby Airport. “During the last few months of discussions, we have heard about how competition is good. With this deal, other air carriers will also have the ability to fly internationally out of Hobby. I support competition whether it is located at Bush or Hobby Airports,” Pennington said.
“All of the airlines which operate out of the Houston Airport System are our partners, and we should treat them as such. I applaud the Mayor for pledging that the City will continue to foster growth at each Houston airport. I believe the Mayor relied upon the independent airport study which concluded that air passenger traffic will increase at both airports. Therefore, this project is not expected to cause job losses at either airport. With Southwest agreeing to abide by Hire Houston First standards, I am convinced this project will generate jobs in our area. I look forward to voting for the MOA when it appears next week on the Council Agenda,” Pennington concluded.
For additional information, please contact John Moss at 832-393-3007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.