Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX, ICAO: KPHX, FAA LID: PHX) is a civil-military public airport 3 miles (5 km) southeast of downtown Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is Arizona's largest and busiest airport, and among the largest commercial airports in the United States.
In 2015, the airport served 44,006,205 passengers, a 4.5% increase over the previous year making it the 11th busiest airport in the United States and 29th worldwide. It handles more than 1,200 aircraft operations a day, 100,000 passengers and more than 800 tons of cargo. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records show that the airport had 20,169,926 commercial passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2012 and 20,211,799 in 2011.
The airport serves as the sixth-largest hub for American Airlines with 299 daily departures to nearly 90 destinations in 4 countries. American carries nearly 48% of all passengers through PHX as of October 2016 (23 million passengers) and employs nearly 10,000 colleagues, making it the airport's largest carrier. Sky Harbor also serves as one of the largest focus cities for Southwest Airlines with 179 daily departures to 50 cities.
Sky Harbor was the fourth airport built in Phoenix. It was built with one runway in 1928 by Scenic Airways, an airline start-up which collapsed the following year after the Black Friday stock market crash. Acme Investment Company then owned the airport until 1935. During this time, American Airlines began the airport's first scheduled passenger and air mail service in 1930. The city of Phoenix purchased the airport from Acme for $100,000 in 1935, and TWA began service to San Francisco in 1938.
After the war the airport began work on a new passenger terminal, as well as a new parallel runway and a diagonal runway. On the February 1953 C&GS diagram runways 8L and 8R are each 6,000 feet (1,800 m) long and runway 3 is 5,500 feet (1,700 m).
The $835,000 Terminal 1 (originally called the "West Terminal") which also had the first control tower, opened in October 1952. It was torn down in 1991 and replaced by a cell phone waiting lot, with Terminal 1's parking lot now being the West Economy lot.
The April 1957 OAG shows 42 scheduled airline departures a day: 16 American, 11 TWA, 10 Bonanza and 5 Frontier. American began a nonstop DC-7 to New York (Idlewild) in summer 1959.
The airport's master plan was redesigned in 1959 to eliminate the cross runway to make room for new terminals. American and TWA began jet service to Phoenix in 1960 and 1961 respectively, and Terminal 2 (originally called the "East Terminal") still in use today, opened in 1962. Terminal 3 opened in October 1979, when the "East" and "West" names were dropped, since they were no longer the only two terminals.
After airline deregulation in 1978 former Hughes Airwest executive Ed Beauvais formed a plan for a new airline based in Phoenix. He founded America West Airlines in 1981, which began service from Phoenix in 1983 and doubled in size during its first year. By the end of the decade America West had a nationwide network and was lobbying for transpacific service.
In the meantime Southwest Airlines arrived at Phoenix in January 1982 with thirteen daily flights to twelve cities; by 1986 it had 64 daily flights from Phoenix and had a crew base there. Southwest opened a maintenance facility at PHX in 1992 which was its largest.
In October 1989 ground was broken for Terminal 4, the largest terminal. It opened on November 2, 1990 with four concourses: N2 and N3 on the north side and S3 and S4 on the south side. In 1994 the N4 International Concourse was opened, adding 10 gates and a sterile walkway to the S4 concourse. In 1997 construction began on the 14-gate N1 concourse for America West Airlines. It was completed in June 1998 at a cost of $50 million, completing the expansion of the north side of the terminal. On the south side of the terminal, construction began in 2002 on the eight-gate S2 concourse for Southwest Airlines. This project was completed in 2004 and has a different architectural design from the other six concourses. The eighth and final concourse for Terminal 4 will be built when needed. Terminal 4 is named after former Arizona Senator and 1964 Presidential candidate Barry M. Goldwater. After Goldwater's death in 1998, the mayor of Phoenix proposed renaming the airport in Goldwater's memory but was deluged with public support for the familiar "Sky Harbor" name.
America West filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1991 and sold its larger aircraft and Japanese route authority, but continued growing its domestic operations from Terminal 4 in cooperation with Continental Airlines. Although AWA enjoyed further growth at Phoenix during the 1990s the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks strained its financial position. AWA ended its relationship with Continental and merged with US Airways in 2005. US Airways moved its headquarters to the AWA campus in Tempe and retained many AWA managers to run the merged company.
Sky Harbor's private airplane area is also one of eight service centers for the Medevac airline Air Evac.
The airport's current 326-foot (99-meter) tall air traffic control tower began operations on January 14, 2007. The tower stands just east of the Terminal 3 parking garage, and also houses the Phoenix TRACON. This is Sky Harbor's fourth control tower and is among the tallest control towers in North America.
The airport has 116 aircraft gates in three Terminals (2, 3, 4). Free ad-supported wireless internet access provided by Boingo Wireless is available in all terminals, with premium paid internet access with higher speeds and no advertisements also available to travelers.
The airport administration states that the designation Terminal 1 has been "retired", and that it did not wish to renumber the other terminals since passengers were already familiar with the numbers in place.
Terminal 2 has 17 gates (numbered consecutively 1–15 and two additional lettered gates C & D) and three parking slots. It was designed by the Phoenix architectural firms of Weaver & Drover and Lescher & Mahoney and opened in 1962. This terminal includes a mural by French-American artist Paul Coze. In November 2006, a Military and Veterans Hospitality Room, sponsored by the Phoenix Military and Veterans Commission, was opened in Terminal 2. It has since relocated to Terminal 4 as the new USO. This terminal has undergone two renovation projects. The first was completed in 1988. The second project, which cost $24 million and was designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., was completed in 2007.
Terminal 2 is expected to close after the completion of the Terminal 3 South Concourse expansion. The Terminal 3 South Concourse expansion will add nine additional gates to the concourse, fully replacing Terminal 2.
The 880,000-square-foot (82,000 m2), $35 million Terminal 3, designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., broke ground in January 1977 and opened in October 1979 and has 23 gates, separated into two concourses by a central building outside of security. The south concourse houses gates 1–14 (Gate 3 is missing) and the north concourse houses gates 15–26 (Gates 21 and 22 are missing). The terminal was remodeled in 1997. Its only lounge – Delta's Crown Room Club – was closed on April 30, 2008.
A future three-part construction and renovation project will combine Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, and update the facilities. Part One will expand security checkpoints on both sides of Terminal 3. Part Two will provide additional concession space for Terminal 3 North, expand the curbside area, and separate ticketing and baggage claim, moving ticketing to the second level of the terminal while expanding the baggage claim on the first level. Part Three will be a brand new Terminal 3 South as a 15 gate, linear terminal. This would discontinue all operations from Terminal 2 as it would be phased out. The project began in 2015 and is expected to be completed by 2020.
Terminal 4, also designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., opened in 1990 and has 86 gates, divided into seven satellite concourses connected behind security. Three northern concourses (gates A1-A14, A17-A30, B1-B14) serve American Airlines and American Eagle operated flights exclusively. The northeastern concourse "B" includes the international gates with Customs and Border Control facilities for international inbound flights (B23-B28) serving Air Canada Rouge, British Airways, Volaris, Westjet, American Airlines and American Eagle with B15-B22 serving American Airlines and American Eagle exclusively. The three southern concourses (gates C1-C10, C11-C20, D1-D8) serve Southwest Airlines exclusively. Terminal 4 handles about 80% of the traffic at the airport.
Terminal 4 maintains the Brutalist architecture theme of the airport with a hard concrete exterior and angled support beams seen on the ground transportation levels.
The terminal has a dense layout Starting at the bottom, level 1 contains the baggage claim and ground transportation for arriving passengers and shuttle buses. Level 2 contains the passenger drop-off and ticketing counters. Level 3 contains the Security Checkpoint, dining options/gift shops, and post-security passenger terminals. Level 3 also contains the PHX Sky Train (people mover) access-ways that go directly to the Sky Train station. Levels 4 through 9 contain parking accessible by elevator. To make this layout efficient, vehicles go through a series of ramps, turns, and parking garage spiral ramps. For example, passengers exit through security, down an escalator from level 3 to level 1, pick up their baggage, and exit to the adjacent ground transportation.
British Airways provides the airport's only transatlantic flight, with nonstop service to London-Heathrow, as well as the only passenger flights on a Boeing 747 to the airport. Lufthansa had operated the second transatlantic flight from Phoenix, to Frankfurt Airport, between 2001 and 2004. America West once operated Boeing 747s to Hawaii and Japan from Sky Harbor, but since this ended the Heathrow service is the only service outside North or Central America, although American and Hawaiian Airlines offer non-stop service outside the Continental United States to Hawaii and to Costa Rica (American). American Airlines and Volaris offer non-stop service to cities in Mexico and American Airlines, Air Canada, and WestJet offer non-stop service to parts of Canada, while American and Alaska Airlines, offer non-stop service to parts of Alaska. Only American Airlines offers service to Central America.
While Phoenix is one of the busiest airports in the world, the lack of international destinations from Phoenix has initiated the Air Service Development Marketing Program. The Aviation Department is offering an international air service development program to encourage new air service between Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and qualified, unserved, international destinations. Airlines that launch new service to qualifying, un-served international markets during the program period will be eligible for marketing reimbursements and landing fee waivers. The proposed program is open to all airlines. To qualify for the funds the airline must maintain at least three new, weekly round-trips for one consecutive year. Up to $1 million will be awarded, depending on the frequency and destination. As well as intercontinental routes, they also will fund airlines who increase or create new flights to North American destinations such as Mexico City, Toronto, and Boston, among others.
|Air Canada Express||Vancouver
|Air Canada Rouge||Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Calgary, Montréal–Trudeau (begins February 22, 2018), Vancouver
|Alaska Airlines||Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
|American Airlines||Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Boston, Cancún, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbus (OH), Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lihue, Los Angeles, Mazatlán, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Newark, Oakland, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San José del Cabo, Seattle/Tacoma, Spokane, St. Louis, Tampa, Vancouver, Washington–National
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Anchorage, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Jackson Hole (begins June 2, 2017), San José de Costa Rica
|American Eagle||Albuquerque, Austin, Bakersfield, Boise, Burbank, Durango (CO), Eugene (begins June 2, 2017), El Paso, Flagstaff, Fresno, Grand Junction, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Laughlin/Bullhead City, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Medford (begins June 2, 2017), Memphis, Midland/Odessa, Monterey, Oakland, Omaha, Ontario, Palm Springs, Redmond/Bend, Roswell, St. George (UT), Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Fe, Santa Rosa, Sioux Falls, Tucson, Yuma
Seasonal: Aspen (begins December 15, 2017), Des Moines, Eagle/Vail, Edmonton, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Montrose, San Jose (CA)
|Boutique Air||Cortez, Show Low, Silver City|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Salt Lake City
|Delta Connection||Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma|
|Frontier Airlines||Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Denver, Detroit, Portland (OR), Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Des Moines, Milwaukee, Nashville, St. Louis
|Great Lakes Airlines||Page|
|JetBlue Airways||Boston, New York–JFK|
|Southwest Airlines||Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Buffalo, Burbank, Chicago–Midway, Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Dallas–Love, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Houston–Hobby, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, Newark, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma, Spokane, St. Louis, Tampa, Tulsa, Wichita|
|Spirit Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Minneapolis/St. Paul
|Sun Country Airlines||Minneapolis/St. Paul|
|United Airlines||Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Los Angeles
|United Express||Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Seasonal: Edmonton, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver, Winnipeg
|Amazon Prime Air
operated by Air Transport International
|Baltimore, Cincinnati, Stockton|
|Ameriflight||Los Angeles, Tijuana|
operated by ABX Air
|Cincinnati, San Diego|
operated by Atlas Air
|FedEx Express||Dallas/Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, Oakland|
operated by Corporate Air
operated by Empire Airlines
|Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City, Yuma|
|UPS Airlines||Albuquerque, Honolulu, Louisville, Ontario|
|Airlines||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|Delta Air Lines||
|1||Denver, Colorado||1,077,710||American, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United|
|2||Los Angeles, California||930,520||American, Delta, Southwest, United|
|3||Seattle/Tacoma, Washington||793,090||Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest|
|4||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||769,680||American, Frontier, Spirit, United|
|5||Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota||658,470||American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country|
|6||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||646,220||American, Spirit|
|7||Salt Lake City, Utah||598,710||American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest|
|8||San Diego, California||592,400||American, Southwest|
|9||San Francisco, California||584,410||American, Frontier, Southwest, United|
|10||Las Vegas, Nevada||583,660||American, Southwest|
|Rank||City||Passengers||Carriers||Change YoY (%)|
|1||Calgary, Canada||314,860||Air Canada, WestJet||1.05|
|2||San José del Cabo, Mexico||258,088||American/US Airways||0.46|
|3||Vancouver, Canada||240,683||Air Canada, American/US Airways, WestJet||2.93|
|4||London (Heathrow), United Kingdom||216,995||British Airways||0.02|
|5||Toronto (Pearson), Canada||205,359||Air Canada, WestJet||33.47|
|6||Edmonton, Canada||192,411||American/US Airways, WestJet||11.93|
|7||Cancún, Mexico||175,464||American/US Airways||31.42|
|8||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico||172,532||American/US Airways||9.29|
|9||Guadalajara, Mexico||163,522||American/US Airways, Volaris||11.70|
|10||Mexico City, Mexico||137,057||American/US Airways, Volaris||5.92|
PHX has an average of 1,183 aircraft operations per day.
|Commercial||Air Taxi||GA Transient||Military|
There are 69 aircraft based at PHX.
Travelers can access East Economy Parking from the PHX Sky Train at Terminal 4. Shuttle bus service connecting the terminals and the economy parking lots was discontinued when the Terminal 3 extension of the PHX Sky Train opened, however, the airport continues to provide shuttle bus service between the terminals and the rental car center with separate routes serving each terminal.
Valley Metro bus route 13 serves all of the airport terminals as a link to the rest of the Valley Metro bus system. The Valley Metro Rail has a stop at the nearby 44th St/Washington light rail station. A moving sidewalk bridge over Washington Street allows light rail passengers to arrive at the nearby PHX Sky Train station and then onward to stations at the East Economy Parking Lot and Terminal 4. Valley Metro bus routes 1 and 44 serve the PHX Sky Train station at 44th Street & Washington with route 3 stopping at the street corner near light rail.
A number of taxi, limousine, and shuttle companies provide service between each airport terminal, the Phoenix metropolitan area, and other communities throughout the state.
The airport is also home to the 161st Air Refueling Wing (161 ARW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the Arizona Air National Guard. The military enclave is known as the Goldwater Air National Guard Base. One of two flying units in the Arizona ANG, the 161 ARW currently flies the KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft. In addition to its domestic role as a National Guard unit, answering to the Governor of Arizona, the 161 ARW also performs both a stateside and overseas role as a USAF organization, supporting air refueling and air mobility missions worldwide.
Located on the south side of the airport, the current Sky Harbor ANGB is a comparatively new facility. As a result of growth and on-going expansion programs at PHX, a new ANG base was planned at the airport to replace a smaller, outmoded facility that stood in the way of airport construction. Plans were finally approved in 1995 and the new base was built during the latter part of that decade. The current Sky Harbor ANGB includes over 275,000 square feet (25,500 m2) of facilities, pavement, and infrastructure and is one of the most modern facilities of its kind in the Air National Guard.
Over 1000 Air National Guard personnel are assigned to the 161 ARW, consisting of a combination of full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel, as well as part-time "traditional" air national guardsmen.
The airport is part of the story in the movie Ground Control but many scenes involving an airport were recorded at California airports instead.
Arizona band, Jimmy Eat World released a song titled "Goodbye Sky Harbor" on their 1999 album Clarity.
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