George Bush Intercontinental is a major gateway to Latin America. Domestically, it serves one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation. With a population of more than 6 million people, the Houston metro area has exploded in recent years.
That has ratcheted up pressure to handle larger passenger loads. Bush is now one of the 10 busiest airports in America and that may be squeezing efficiency: The airport's on-time departure rate fell nearly five percentage points year-over-year in 2012.