Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

City of Houston Aviation Department Collection RG.A.0005



Descriptive Summary

Creator City of Houston Aviation Department
Title: City of Houston Aviation Department Collection
Dates: 1937-1981
Identification: RG.A.0005
Quantity: 38.2 Linear feet, 37 record storage boxes, 3 document storage boxes
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Historical Note

The collection begins during the Great Depression, 1937, when there was little funding for the relative luxury of airports. Four years later, the country entered World War II and the airplane became the weapon of choice for waging war. The post-War result was tens of thousands of trained pilots, a nation with growing affluence, and greatly advanced aeronautical technology including radar, high octane gasoline, improved instruments and greater overall reliability of aircraft. Aircraft had been improved to the point that wingspans exceeded the length of the original Wright brothers’ flight. All of these factors increased the demand and supply of air travel by commercial carrier. This led to the increase of airline traffic and the need for airports that could handle the increased volume of air traffic.

The technological thrust of World War II, with the catalyst of the Korean conflict, led to the development of jet-propelled aircraft for the military, which spawned jet-propelled aircraft for civilian travel just a few years later. These aircraft required longer and stronger runways and larger terminals and concourses because of the increased passenger loads that jets could carry. An unfortunate byproduct was a higher level of noise, and the only way of dealing with noise in the late 1960s was to build airports far away from population centers. Again, the forces of technology and commercial requirements demanded larger and better-equipped airports. This time a new airport, Houston Intercontinental Airport, (now George Bush Intercontinental Airport) was constructed. Supposedly, Houston Municipal Airport, later Hobby Airport, would be replaced. Because of its proximity to downtown Houston and Galveston, Hobby Airport recovered and became a busy airport again. While this record group ends in 1981, the demand for greater airport capabilities did not.


Scope and Contents

This collection covers a range of activities at Houston Municipal Airport, later Hobby Airport, from 1937-1981. There are also files on the concept and development of Houston Intercontinental Airport, which was intended to replace Houston Municipal Airport. Topics covered range from dealings with airlines to counts of landings, departures and passenger flow to accident reports. Materials in this collection are primarily correspondence and inter-office correspondence, and include annual reports, blueprints/site plans, bond funds, brochures, budgets, consultant surveys, City Council of Houston motions, Civil Aeronautics Board petitions, disaster plans, drainage plans, employment records, engineering studies, Federal Aviation Agency Technical Standard Orders, instructions, inventories, invoices, leases, magazine articles, manuals, navigation charts, newsletters, notes, organization charts, parking citations, payroll records, pension plan amendments, personnel studies, photographs, policy statements, procedures, purchase orders, quotes, receipts, reports, requests for federal disaster aid, rules, schedules, specifications, spreadsheets, surveys, telegrams, telephone directory, and traffic reports.


 

Arrangement

The collection, through Box 33, is arranged in chronological order, with subjects arranged in alphabetical order within each year. Boxes 34 – 39 are more subject-specific, such as blueprints, communications regarding the proposed Houston Intercontinental Airport, and selected municipal reports. Their contents are listed in the container list at the end of this finding aid.

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

None.

Use Restrictions

None.


Index Terms

Aeronautics, Commercial--Freight--Texas--Houston
Airport authorities--Texas--Houston
Airport buildings--Texas--Houston
Airport drainage--Texas--Houston
Airport Managers Council (Houston, Tex.)
Airport noise--Texas--Houston
Airport Operators Council (Houston, Tex.)
Airport police--Texas--Houston
Airport zoning--Texas--Houston
Airports--Communication Systems--Texas--Houston
Airports--Employees--Texas--Houston
Airports--Landscape architecture--Texas--Houston
Airports--Texas--Houston
American Association of Airport Executives. Texas Chapter
Bonds--Texas--Houston
Braniff Airways
Brown Express Aviation
Eastern Air Lines, inc.
Government liability--Texas--Houston
Gulf Oil Corporation
Hangars--Texas--Houston
Houston (Tex.). Aviation Dept.
Houston (Tex.). City Council
Houston (Tex.). City Council. Aviation Committee
Houston (Tex.). Dept. of Public Works and Engineering
Houston (Tex.). Legal Dept.
Houston (Tex.). Purchasing Dept.
Houston Airport Terminal Association
Houston Chamber of Commerce
Houston Intercontinental Airport
Houston-Galveston Area Council
Humble Oil and Refining Company (Incorporated in Tex.)
Labor unions--Texas--Houston
Letting of contracts--Texas--Houston
Mid Continent Airlines
Municipal government--Texas--Houston
Ordinances, Municipal--Texas--Houston
Pan American World Airways, Inc.
Pioneer Air Lines
Public utilities--Texas--Houston
Runways (Aeronautics)--Texas--Houston
United States. Civil Aeronautics Administration
United States. Dept. of Commerce
United States. Dept. of the Treasury
United States. Federal Aviation Administration

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

City of Houston Aviation Department Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

The Aviation Department of the City of Houston donated the collection on Oct. 1, 1976. An unknown party donated newsletters from 1980-1981.

Processing Information

Processed by: Ron Drees, November 2005.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 
Box
1 General Files, 1937-1943



 
Box
2 General Files, 1940-1945



 
Box
3 General Files, 1941-1947



 
Box
4 General Files, 1943-1946



 
Box
5 General Files, 1944-1947



 
Box
6 General Files, 1947-1948



 
Box
7 General Files, 1948-1949



 
Box
8 General Files, 1950



 
Box
9 General Files, 1951



 
Box
10 General Files, 1951-1952



 
Box
11 General Files, 1951-1953



 
Box
12 General Files, 1953



 
Box
13 General Files, 1954



 
Box
14 General Files, 1954-1955



 
Box
15 General Files, 1955



 
Box
16 General Files, 1956



 
Box
17 General Files, 1956-1957



 
Box
18 General Files, 1957-1958



 
Box
19 General Files, 1958-1959



 
Box
20 General Files, 1959



 
Box
21 General Files, 1959-1960



 
Box
22 General Files, 1960



 
Box
23 General Files, 1960-1961



 
Box
24 General Files, 1961-1962



 
Box
25 General Files, 1962



 
Box
26 General Files, 1962-1963



 
Box
27 General Files, 1963-1964



 
Box
28 General Files, 1964-1966



 
Box
29 General Files, 1966



 
Box
30 General Files, 1966-1967



 
Box
31 General Files, 1967-1968



 
Box
32 General Files, 1948-1956



 
Box
32a General Files, 1957-1966



 
Box
33 General Files, 1939-1959



 
Box
34 Bond fund, Expansion blue prints, 1963



 
Box
35 Blueprints, 1942-1962



 
Box
36 Blueprints, plans, correspondence, 1946-1967



 
Box
37 Houston Intercontinental Airport plans, correspondence, leases, 1961-1968



 
Box
38 Progress reports, 1943-1968



 
Box
39 Houston Municipal Airport pamphlets, 1969-1971