United opened its largest Inflight Training Center in Houston Tuesday.
The 56,000 sq. ft. facility includes new classrooms, additional cabin and door trainers and a state-of-the-art aquatic center that features a 125,000-gallon pool and mock fuselage to practice the safe evacuation of the plane in the unlikely event of a water landing.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined United CEO Scott Kirby at a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event to officially open the new training center.
The $32 million expansion project offers more than double the available training space and supports the airline's plan to hire and train a total of 15,000 people in 2023, including 4,000 flight attendants.
United has plans to train over 600 flight attendants per month at the new Houston facility. The project is an example of United's focus on long-term investments in infrastructure, tools and technology to support the United Next growth plan as well as the airline's continued commitment to Houston.
"The best flight attendants in the industry deserve the best, most modern training facility in the country," United CEO Scott Kirby said. "This expansion project is yet another example of an investment we made during the depths of the pandemic that will support our employees, further improve our ability to deliver great service and set United up for success in 2023 and beyond."
The new United flight attendants will attend a six-week and a half training course at the Houston facility and then return every 18 months to stay current on their qualifications. The new campus includes inflight service training spaces. These training spaces feature mock seats, a 400+-seat auditorium and a public address room where trainees can practice their onboard announcements.
The centerpiece of the building is a new Aquatic Center that includes a 125,000-gallon pool to practicing the safe evacuation of the plane in the unlikely event of a water landing.
In support of Mayor Turner's climate action plan, the construction included the plan to build local storm-resilient infrastructure. United included an underground prefabricated storm detention vault that can hold more than 268,000 gallons of water and store stormwater runoff in large underground pipes or vaults.
"United continues to be a great partner and business leader in the city of Houston, connecting Houstonians to the world and investing in vital infrastructure projects that help enhance the travel experience for millions of travelers," Mayor Turner said. "I congratulate United on opening its global Inflight Training Center, a testament to the region's workforce and pro-business environment."