George Bush Intercontinental Airport Federal Inspection Services Building

An Effort in Centralization
Clark’s positive leadership approach and hard work are the reasons the FIS is the most successful project ever undertaken by the Houston Airport System.
Eric Potts, Deputy Director of Aviation, Planning Design & Construction, Houston Airport System
Location: 
Houston, Texas
Client: 
Houston Airport System
Architect: 
Contract Value: 
$170,000,000
Size: 
750,000 Square Feet
Year Completed: 
2004
Sector: 
Expertise: 

Just one component of a major facility expansion at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the 750,000 square-foot Federal Inspection Services (FIS) Building project centralized all immigration, customs inspections, and baggage inspection and handling for international arrivals. Careful coordination and collaboration minimized the impact on both the airport's active operations and adjacent construction. In addition, the new building ensured the client met new post-9/11 standards for airport security.

The FIS building is a three story, steel structure that features a glazed curtain wall and metal panel façade. Architectural curved trusses form portions of the high roof, which are covered with metal panels. The basement features a baggage handling area for all international travel with the baggage claim hall on the first level. On level two, there is an Immigration and Naturalization Service primary inspection hall and pedestrian bridges that connect to other terminals. The FIS Building connects to a new parking garage, which was connected at the west end via two elevator towers.

The airport wanted to expand international air traffic while also meeting new security standards implemented after 9/11. Given the project's location within an active airport, the project team had to accomodate the needs of air traffic control, Airfield Operations Areas (AOA), and public access. The project team coordinated their daily construction efforts, constructed temporary AOA fencing, and carefully monitored the schedule. Once the project was complete, the team relocated the airport's U.S. Customs and Border Control Operations in just one night.