Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport
|Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport|
|IATA: AZA – ICAO: KIWA – FAA LID: IWA|
|Owner/Operator||Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport Authority|
|Serves||Phoenix metropolitan area|
|Focus city for||Allegiant Air|
|Elevation AMSL||1,382 ft / 421 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA, ICAO: KIWA, FAA LID: IWA), formerly Williams Gateway Airport (1994–2008) and Williams Air Force Base (1941–1993), is a commercial airport located in the southeastern area of the city of Mesa, Arizona, and 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The airport is owned and operated by the Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. It serves as a focus city for Allegiant Air. The airport authority is governed by a six member board, composed of the mayors and tribal governor of the town of Gilbert, city of Mesa, town of Queen Creek, Gila River Indian Community, city of Phoenix, and the city of Apache Junction.
According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2007–2011, Phoenix–Mesa Gateway was designated as a reliever airport, which is a general aviation airport that may be used to relieve congestion at a large commercial service airport. Allegiant Air began offering scheduled commercial service from this airport in October 2007. As per Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport records, the airport had 1,377,205 passenger boardings (or enplanements) in the calendar year 2012, a 44% increase over the previous year.
Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport is assigned IWA by the FAA and AZA by the IATA (which assigned IWA to Yuzhny Airport in Ivanovo, Russia). The airport's former IATA code was CHD.
Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport was built in 1941 and inaugurated in 1942 by the United States military as Williams Air Base. It served as a flight training field during World War II for military pilots. Military forces established a pilot school there, and many war airplanes that are now considered to be classics were seen there on a daily basis.
The 1991 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommended closing the base as its operating costs were too costly for the United States government; the base continued operating until 1993.
As the base was being shut down, it was decided that, with the growing traffic at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, an alternative airport would be needed in the area. The runway was expanded to accommodate commercial airliners, and the facility reopened in 1994 as Williams Gateway Airport. Bids began to be made for some airlines to begin flights almost immediately.
In 2004, charter airline Ryan International Airlines began offering MD-82 jet flights from there to Bullhead City International Airport in Bullhead City, Arizona, which is adjacent to Laughlin, Nevada, and many resorts.
In recent years, the airport has again become a center of flight training. Several large flight schools now take advantage of the great flying weather in the Phoenix valley.
On July 31, 2007, the low-cost Las Vegas-based carrier Allegiant Air announced plans to open a focus city from Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport, connecting the Phoenix metropolitan area to 13 destinations. First service commenced on October 25, 2007, and additional cities commencing throughout the remainder of October and complete by November 21, 2007.
In a press release on September 17, 2007, the Williams Gateway Airport Authority governing board approved a name change for Williams Gateway Airport effective October 15, 2007, after which the airport would be known as the Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport. The board cited a desire "to have the airport reach its highest potential in creating jobs and commercial service development" as the reason behind the change.
Facilities and aircraft
- Runway 12C/30C: 10,200 x 150 ft (3,109 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete
- Runway 12L/30R: 9,300 x 150 ft (2,835 x 46 m), Surface: Concrete
- Runway 12R/30L: 10,400 x 150 ft (3,170 x 46 m), Surface: Concrete
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2011, the airport had 171,200 aircraft operations, an average of 469 per day: 86% general aviation, 5% air taxi, 5% scheduled commercial, and 4% military. There are 128 aircraft based at this airport: 60% single-engine, 26% jet, 14% multi-engine, and 1% helicopter.
One of the biggest issues that IWA is facing today is the rapid increase in enplanements since Allegiant Air started operations. IWA did not initially plan for this amount of growth within the first year Allegiant began. Due to the increase from 14,588 enplanments in 2007 to 159,481 in 2008, facilities were becoming overpopulated, crowded, and inefficient. Much of the growth can be attributed to a new trend that airlines have been following: to bring service in and out of IWA and take advantage of the demand of passengers in the area and around the globe. To alleviate this problem, extensive renovations and expansions have been completed, adding nearly 70,000 square feet of new terminal facility space. This added eight gates since IWA was established in 1994. The Airport broke ground on a final expansion plan in early 2013, to increase gates to a total of ten. However, IWA is running out of real estate on the west side of the airfield, which will bring a halt to future expansions until the east terminal facilities are complete.
In response to the expansion issues, PMGAA has begun planning for the construction of a new west terminal. The new plan titled, Gateway 2030, was developed in June 2012. The Gateway 2030 plan outlines the process, major findings and recommendations associated with the cost feasible phasing approach to the development of approximately 700 acres of airport property and the supporting City infrastructure critical to ensure its success" (IWA, 2012b). The plan will be implemented in 4 phases. With the completion of phase one, IWA will be able to accommodate 3 million enplanements. Much of phase one will address much needed access and infrastructure to access the new terminal. This includes access roads, parking, taxiways, aprons capable of Group III and IV aircraft, and the new 300,000 square foot pier concept terminal. The new terminal will have 14 gates, constructed in such a way to make room for 12 Group III and two Group IV aircraft. The total estimated cost of phase one is roughly $344.5 million and will be implemented within the next five years.
Phase two has yet to be planned in detail, but will ultimately add another pier terminal to the main concourse, adding up to six gates, parking for 10,500 vehicles and a 1,000 foot extension of RW 12L/30R. Phase two will cost about $145 million with the ability for IWA to handle 2.2 million enplanements and will be implemented in next six to ten years. Phase three will be the final phase for the initial Gateway 2030 plan. It will add another pier terminal and second level to the main concourse and will be an addition of eight additional gates, a new apron, more parking and an additional taxiway.
Phase three will also focus on privately owned retail, office, and hotel buildings that will be located on airport property. Phase three will allow IWA to accommodate five million enplanements and is forecasted to cost $963 million with construction not forecasted until year 2024 (IWA, 2012b).
Phase four will complete the 2030 plan, allowing IWA able to handle 10 million passengers annually with a total of 60 gates and 21,000 vehicle parking spaces. Phase four will likely not be undertaken until 2030 or beyond, making cost estimates nearly impossible.
Due to the changing market, phase two, three and four are likely to change, but having a plan in place is key to IWA's future. Gateway 2030 is estimated to cost upwards of $1.4 billion. The Gateway 2030 project will ultimately transform IWA into a new airport, providing a much larger economic impact on the region.
Airlines and destinations
|Allegiant Air||Appleton, Bellingham, Billings, Bismarck, Bozeman, Cedar Rapids, Chicago/Rockford, Duluth, Eugene, Fargo, Fort Wayne, Grand Forks, Grand Island, Grand Rapids, Great Falls, Idaho Falls, Las Vegas, Manhattan (KS), Minot, Missoula, Moline/Quad Cities, Montrose, Oakland, Ogden, Pasco, Peoria, Provo, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, South Bend, Springfield/Branson, Wichita
Seasonal: Honolulu, Medford, Rochester (MN), St. Cloud
|1||Dallas/Fort Worth, TX||45,000||Spirit|
|2||Las Vegas, NV||33,000||Allegiant|
|6||Cedar Rapids, IA||28,000||Allegiant|
|6||Sioux Falls, SD||28,000||Allegiant|
- Advanced Training Systems International, a fighter combat and maintenance training school
- Mesa Pilot Development
- ATP Flight School
- University of North Dakota Aerospace
- Chandler Gilbert Community College A&P Training
Board of directors
In 1994, the Willams Gateway Airport Authority was established with a three member board with representation from the three cities immediately adjacent to Williams Field. The original governing board consisted of the mayors of the town of Gilbert, city of Mesa, and town of Queen Creek, who continue as members today.
In later years, the Gila River Indian Community and the city of Phoenix joined the Williams Gateway Airport Authority board (now Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport Authority). Gila River Indian Community joined in 1995 and the City of Phoenix joined in 2006. City of Apache Junction joined in 2013.
Now that the change of the Williams Gateway Airport name to Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport has occurred, the board approved resolution and ordinance does not change, diminish, give away, negate nor reduce any of the board of directors and their respective city, town or tribal government member voting authority and respective ownership. Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport continues to be owned and operated by the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport Authority.
A six-member airport Board of Directors is composed of elected officials from neighboring cities and a tribal government. Authority communities are as of 2013:
|Williams Air Force Base (now part of Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport) in Mesa, Arizona
(NRHP = National Register of Historic Places)
(MHP = Mesa Historic Properties)
- FAA Airport Master Record for IWA ( PDF) effective 2013-01-10, AirportIQ 5010, GCR Inc.
- "Airport Authority Approves City of Apache Junction Membership". By Brian Sexton(Primary). Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems: 2007–2011, FAA, 2006-10-06
- "Allegiant Air announces new base in Phoenix–Mesa", Press release (Allegiant Air), 2007-07-31
- "Gateway Airport Traffic Soars in 2012". By Brian Sexton(Primary). Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- Swartz, Karl L., "AZA – Airport", Great Circle Mapper (GCMap.com)
- Swartz, Karl L., "IWA – Airport", Great Circle Mapper (GCMap.com)
- Swartz, Karl L., "CHD – Location", Great Circle Mapper (GCMap.com)
- "The Southeast Valley Insider", The Arizona Republic, 2006-03-30
- "Williams Gateway Airport Authority approves name change", Press release (Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport), 2007-09-17
- "Gateway 2030: A Vision for the Northeast Area Development", Press release (Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport), 2012-06-30
- Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix – Mesa Gateway (AZA) Scheduled Services except Freight/Mail, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, United States Department of Transportation, 2013, retrieved November 24, 2013
- Nelson, Gary; Thomason, Art (December 6, 2011), "Spirit Airlines to fly from Gateway Airport", The Arizona Republic
- Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport, official web site
- Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA) at Arizona DOT airport directory
- Williams Air Force Base at GlobalSecurity.org
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for IWA, effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: