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Monthly Update: Aviation

July '23, latest data
Published on 8/31/23

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The Houston Airport System (HAS) handled 58.4 million passengers in the 12 months ending July ’23, up 12.3 percent from 52.0 million handled over the comparable period in ’22. While a substantial improvement over last year, passenger traffic remains 0.9 million passengers (1.5 percent) below July of ’19.

Houston air travel is approaching pre-COVID levels. The 12-month total for domestic passenger traffic broke the 45-million mark in March ’23 and continues to grow. Domestic traffic remains 0.9 million passengers (1.9 percent) below July ‘19. Pent-up vacation demand has spurred additional domestic travel this summer.

July ’23 month marks the first time that the 12-month total for international passengers surpassed pre-COVID levels. International traffic is now 0.4 percent above July ‘19. On a monthly basis, international passengers were up 13.0 percent from their pre-pandemic level. 

Houston City Council recently approved an investment of $470 million to expand the West Concourse at Hobby Airport. The expansion will add  seven gates and renovate the baggage handling system and baggage claim area, among other improvements. This comes in anticipation of increased passenger demand and growth of Southwest Airlines’ service out of Hobby. More information can be found at

Air cargo traffic peaked last September and has trended down for ten consecutive months. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projected air cargo demand to decline 3.8 percent this year. 

Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Chief Economist 
Senior Vice President, Research

Clara Richardson
Research Associate


HAS handled 58.4 million passengers in the 12 months ending July '23.

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