Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport

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Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Logo.svg
IATA: AZAICAO: KIWAFAA LID: IWA
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport Authority
Serves Phoenix metropolitan area
Location Mesa, Arizona
Focus city for Allegiant Air
Built 1941
Elevation AMSL 1,382 ft / 421 m
Coordinates 33°18′28″N 111°39′20″W / 33.30778°N 111.65556°W / 33.30778; -111.65556
Website PhxMesaGateway.org
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12C/30C 10,200 3,109 Asphalt/Concrete
12L/30R 9,300 2,835 Concrete
12R/30L 10,400 3,170 Concrete
Statistics (2011)
Aircraft operations 171,200
Based aircraft 128
Passenger volume 956,665
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZAICAO: KIWAFAA LID: IWA), formerly Williams Gateway Airport (1994–2008) and Williams Air Force Base (1941–1993), is in the southeastern area of Mesa, Arizona, and 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona.[1] The airport is owned and operated by the Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, and is a reliever airport for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. It is a focus city for Allegiant Air. The airport authority is governed by a six member board: 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.[2]

The FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2007–2011 called Phoenix–Mesa Gateway a reliever airport, which is a general aviation airport used to relieve congestion at a large airline airport.[3] Allegiant Air began scheduled service from Mesa in October 2007.[4] Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport records say the airport had 1,377,205 passenger boardings (or approx.700,000 enplanements) in calendar year 2012, a 44% increase over 2011.[5]

Most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and ICAO, but Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport is IWA to the FAA and AZA to the IATA (which assigned IWA to Yuzhny Airport in Ivanovo, Russia. The airport's former IATA code was CHD.[6]

Airport entrance

History[edit]

The airport was built in 1941 and opened in 1942 by the United States military as Williams Air Base. It was a flight training field during World War II.

In 1948 Williams became the first jet training base, and in 1966 it was the first site of the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) program.[7]

The 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended closing the base as its operating costs were too high; the base closed in 1993.

Entrance to Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport

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. The runway was expanded to accommodate airliners and the facility opened in 1994 as Williams Gateway Airport. Bids began for some airlines to begin flights almost immediately.

In 2004 charter airline Ryan International Airlines began MD-82 flights to Bullhead City International Airport in Bullhead City, Arizona, next 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 flying weather in the Phoenix valley.

Logo using airport's former name

On July 31, 2007 the low-cost Las Vegas-based carrier Allegiant Air announced plans to open a focus city at Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport, connecting the Phoenix area to 13 cities. Service commenced on October 25, 2007, with cities being added until November 21, 2007.[4]

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 to Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport.

Facilities[edit]

The airport covers 3,020 acres (1,220 ha) and has three paved runways:[1]

  • Runway 12C/30C: 10,200 x 150 ft (3,109 x 46 m) Asphalt/Concrete
  • Runway 12L/30R: 9,300 x 150 ft (2,835 x 46 m) Concrete
  • Runway 12R/30L: 10,400 x 150 ft (3,170 x 46 m) Concrete

In 2011 the airport had 171,200 aircraft operations, average 469 per day: 86% general aviation, 5% air taxi, 5% airline, and 4% military. 128 aircraft are based at the airport: 60% single-engine, 26% jet, 14% multi-engine, and 1% helicopter.[1]

The future[edit]

One of the biggest issues at IWA is the increase in passengers since Allegiant Air started operations. IWA did not plan for this growth within the first year. Due to the increase from 14,588 enplanments in 2007 to 159,481 in 2008, facilities were becoming crowded. To alleviate this problem, extensive renovations and expansions have been completed, adding nearly 70,000 square feet. 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 ten. However, IWA is running out of real estate on the west side of the airfield, which will bring a halt to expansions until the east terminal facilities are complete.

Gateway 2030[edit]

In response to the expansion issues, PMGAA has begun planning for a new east terminal. The plan titled, Gateway 2030, was developed in June 2012.[8] 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 1.5 million enplanements (3 million passengers). 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 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 for the initial Gateway 2030 plan will add another pier terminal and second level to the main concourse and will create an additional eight gates, a new apron, more parking and an additional taxiway.

Phase three will focus on privately owned retail, office, and hotel buildings that will be located on airport property. Phase three will allow IWA to accommodate 5 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 enplanements (20 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. Gateway 2030 is estimated to cost upwards of $1.4 billion. The Gateway 2030 project will transform IWA into a new airport.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Allegiant is the only airline serving Mesa.
FAA diagram
Airlines Destinations
Allegiant Air Appleton, Bellingham, Billings, Bismarck, Bozeman, Cedar Rapids, Cincinnati (begins November 12, 2014), Chicago/Rockford, Colorado Springs, Eugene, Fargo, Fort Wayne, Grand Forks, Grand Island, Grand Rapids, Great Falls, Idaho Falls, Las Vegas, Minot, Missoula, Moline/Quad Cities, Oakland, Ogden, Pasco, Peoria, Provo, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, South Bend, Springfield/Branson, Stockton, Wichita
Seasonal: Honolulu, Medford, Montrose, St. Cloud
Cities served non-stop from AZA in October 2013. Cities in blue are seasonal.

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from Phoenix-Mesa (June 2013 - May 2014)[9]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Bellingham, Washington 30,000 Allegiant
2 Sioux Falls, South Dakota 28,000 Allegiant
2 Fargo, North Dakota 28,000 Allegiant
4 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 27,000 Allegiant
5 Las Vegas, Nevada 25,000 Allegiant
6 Oakland, California 21,000 Allegiant
6 Bismarck, North Dakota 21,000 Allegiant
8 Minot, North Dakota 20,000 Allegiant
9 Rapid City, South Dakota 19,000 Allegiant
9 Chicago/Rockford, Illinois 19,000 Allegiant

Other[edit]

Training[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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:

Historic landmarks[edit]

Williams Air Force Base (now part of Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport) in Mesa, Arizona
(NRHP = National Register of Historic Places)
(MHP = Mesa Historic Properties)
Housing Storage Supply Warehouse at Williams Air Force Base (now Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus). The housing supply warehouse was constructed in December 1941 by Del E. Webb Construction Company. The housing supply warehouse is significant for its association with the initial development and construction at Williams Air Force Base which is in the land in which the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and the Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus are now located. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places – 1995. Reference 95000746 
Water Tower at Williams Air Force Base (now Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus). The water tower was constructed in the winter of 1941-1942 by the Del E. Webb Construction Company. The water tower possesses the associative quality that connects it to the history of Williams Air Force Base in the land in which Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and the Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus are now located. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places – 1995. Reference 95000745 
The Flagpole was built in December 1941, the Base Flagpole is significant as an object for its important symbolic and traditional associations with the origins and history of Williams Air Force Base (now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport). The pole was erected by Del E. Webb Construction Company. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places – 1995 Reference 95000744. 
Marker of the historic flagpole. 
Demountable Hangar located at the North Apron, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (formally Williams AFB), Mesa, Arizona. Built in 1925 and designed by Webb, Del E., Construction Company to resemble an enlisted aviator badge of the Army Air Force. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, ref. #95000743. 
Ammo Bunker (S-1007), SW of Vosler Dr. (formerly Alaska Dr.) , at Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus (Formally Williams AFB), Mesa, Arizona. Built in 1925 by Webb, Del E., Construction Company. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places ref: 95000748 
Ammo Bunker (S-1008), SW of Vosler Dr. (formerly Alaska Dr.), at Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus (Formally Williams AFB), Mesa, Arizona. Built in 1925 by Webb, Del E., Construction Company. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places ref: 95000759 
Civil Engineering Maintenance Shop also known as S-735, located in Unity Ave. (Jct. of 11th and A Sts.), at Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus (Formally Williams AFB), Mesa, Arizona. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, ref: #95000747. 

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for IWA (Form 5010 PDF) effective 2013-01-10, AirportIQ 5010, GCR Inc.
  2. ^ "Airport Authority Approves City of Apache Junction Membership". By Brian Sexton(Primary). Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  3. ^ National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems: 2007–2011, FAA, 2006-10-06 
  4. ^ a b "Allegiant Air announces new base in Phoenix–Mesa", Press release (Allegiant Air), 2007-07-31 
  5. ^ "Gateway Airport Traffic Soars in 2012". By Brian Sexton(Primary). Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Swartz, Karl L., "CHD – Location", Great Circle Mapper (GCMap.com) 
  7. ^ "The Southeast Valley Insider", The Arizona Republic, 2006-03-30 
  8. ^ "Gateway 2030: A Vision for the Northeast Area Development", Press release (Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport), 2012-06-30 
  9. ^ 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 January 3, 2014 

References[edit]

External links[edit]