Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Logo.svg
Sky Harbor - 2008-08-29 - Control Tower.jpg
Airport typePublic/Military
OwnerCity of Phoenix
OperatorPhoenix Airport System
ServesPhoenix metropolitan area
LocationPhoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL1,135 ft / 346 m
Coordinates33°26′03″N 112°00′42″W / 33.43417°N 112.01167°W / 33.43417; -112.01167Coordinates: 33°26′03″N 112°00′42″W / 33.43417°N 112.01167°W / 33.43417; -112.01167
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
PHX is located in Arizona
Location within Arizona/United States
PHX is located in the US
PHX (the US)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8/26 11,489 3,502 Concrete
7L/25R 10,300 3,139 Concrete
7R/25L 7,800 2,377 Concrete
Statistics (2017)
Aircraft operations430,968
Passenger volume43,921,670

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX, ICAO: KPHX, FAA LID: PHX) is a civil-military public airport 3 miles (2.6 nmi; 4.8 km) southeast of downtown Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States.[1] It is Arizona's largest and busiest airport, and among the largest commercial airports in the United States.

In 2017, PHX served 43,921,670 passengers, making it the forty-first busiest airport in the world.[3] It handles nearly 1,200 aircraft operations a day, 120,000 passengers and more than 800 tons of cargo. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records show that the airport had 21,185,440 commercial passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2017 and 20,896,265 in 2016.

The airport serves as the sixth-largest hub for American Airlines with over 300 daily departures to 95 destinations in 4 countries.[4] American carries nearly 46% of all PHX passengers as of December 2017 (more than 20 million passengers) and employs nearly 9,500 people, making it the airport's largest carrier.[4][5] The airport also serves as one of the largest operating bases for Southwest Airlines with 188 daily departures to 53 cities across the United States.


Aerial view of the new control tower in the foreground, and the old control tower in the background, with Terminal 3 in between, looking southwest
Sky Harbor's control tower with downtown Phoenix in the background with a plane landing on runway 8

Sky Harbor Airport's unique name was conceived by J. Parker Van Zandt, the owner of Scenic Airways, in 1928. However, the reasoning for the name is apparently unknown. Scenic Airways collapsed in 1929 after the infamous Black Friday stock market crash.[6][7] Sky Harbor was the fourth airport built in Phoenix.[7] This fourth airport was built with one runway in 1928. Acme Investment Company owned the airport until 1935 after the collapse of Scenic Airways. 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.[8]

After World War II the airport began work on a new passenger terminal, as well as a new parallel runway and a diagonal runway.[9] 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 Wing") which also had the first control tower, opened in October 1952.[9] 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.[9] American and TWA began jet service to Phoenix in 1960 and 1961 respectively, and Terminal 2 (originally called the "East Wing") still in use today, opened in 1962.[10] Terminal 3 opened in October 1979,[9] when the "East" and "West" names were dropped, since they were no longer the only two terminals.

Bonanza Airlines moved its headquarters from Las Vegas to Phoenix in 1966. Bonanza merged with two other airlines to form Air West, which became Hughes Airwest after Howard Hughes bought it in 1970.[11]

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.[11]

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.[12]

In October 1989 ground was broken for Terminal 4, the largest terminal.[13] It opened on November 2, 1990[14] 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,[15] 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.[16]

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.[11]

In 2007 the Transportation Security Administration introduced the first of its backscatter X-ray machines at PHX.[17]

Sky Harbor's private airplane area is also one of eight service centers for the Medevac airline Air Evac.[18]

Since 1951 through the end of 2017, nearly 1.2 billion passengers (domestic and international, enplaned and deplaned) have transited through PHX, an annual average of 17.6 million passengers. In the same time frame there has been over 27 million aircraft movements (commercial, military, general aviation) at PHX, an annual average of 400 thousand movements.[19] PHX has grown over the years into a major US hub, and ranks the forty-first busiest airport in the world and thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States in passenger boardings.



PHX covers 3,400 acres (1,400 ha) at an elevation of 1,135 ft (346 m). The airport has three parallel concrete/grooved runways:[1]

  • Runway 8/26 measuring 11,489 ft × 150 ft (3,502 m × 46 m)
  • Runway 7L/25R measuring 10,300 ft × 150 ft (3,139 m × 46 m)
  • Runway 7R/25L measuring 7,800 ft × 150 ft (2,377 m × 46 m)

All three runways allow aircraft with a Maximum takeoff weight of 900,000+ lbs.[1]

ATC Tower[edit]

The airport's current 326 ft (99 m) 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.[citation needed]


Several US Airways planes at Concourse A – Terminal 4.
British Airways Boeing 747-400 from London–Heathrow on approach to runway 26
Aerial view of the airport.
American Airlines planes at the airport.
Concourse at Terminal 4 of the airport.

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[edit]

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.[20] Currently, the terminal is used primarily by United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Terminal 2 also includes a mural by French-American artist Paul Coze in the main lobby area. 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.[21] The second project, which cost $24 million and was designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., was completed in 2007.[20][22]

Terminal 2 will be demolished after the completion of the Terminal 3 South Concourse expansion.[23] The Terminal 3 South Concourse expansion will add nine additional gates to the concourse, fully replacing Terminal 2.

Airlines currently using Terminal 2:

Terminal 3 (John S. McCain III Terminal[24])[edit]

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.[10][20] 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.[25] Its only lounge – Delta's Crown Room Club – was closed on April 30, 2008 but will re-open in November 2018

A future three-part construction and renovation project is underway and will combine Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, and update the facilities. Part One has created a consolidated security checkpoint, new airline ticket counters, a Museum Gallery and a West Arrival Plaza (outdoor area with Animal Relief area). Part Two will be a brand new South Concourse as a 15 gate, linear concourse. Part Three entails renovating the North Concourse. Both the South and North Concourses will feature new food and beverage outlets, new retail shops, and other customer service amenities. A new Delta Sky Club is slated to open in the South Concourse. After the Terminal Modernization Project is complete in 2020, Terminal 2 will be closed and its operations will move to Terminal 3.

Airlines currently using Terminal 3:

Terminal 4 (Barry M. Goldwater Terminal)[edit]

Terminal 4, also designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., opened in 1990 and has 86 gates, divided into seven satellite concourses connected behind security.[20]

Airlines currently using Terminal 4:

Airlines and destinations[edit]

British Airways provides nonstop service to London–Heathrow, as well as the only passenger flights on a Boeing 747 to the airport. Condor Airlines began service to Frankfurt, Germany, from Phoenix Sky Harbor on May 18, 2018. American Airlines will begin seasonal nonstop service to London-Heathrow, using a Boeing 777-200ER beginning in March 2019. Lufthansa had operated another transatlantic flight to Frankfurt Airport many years ago, and America West once operated trans-Pacific Boeing 747 flights to Hawaii and Japan, but these services have since ended.[26] However, several airlines offer non-stop service outside the Continental United States to Hawaii and Costa Rica, as well as cities in Mexico and Canada. Service is also provided to parts of Alaska.

While Phoenix is one of the busiest airports in the world, the lack of international destinations has initiated the Air Service Development Marketing Program. The Aviation Department offers an international air service development program to encourage new air service between PHX and qualified, unserved, international destinations. Airlines that launch new service to qualifying, unserved 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 will fund airlines who increase or create new flights to North American destinations such as Mexico City, Toronto, and Boston, among others.[27]

The strategy began to pay off when, on June 22, 2017, Condor announced it would begin flying a Phoenix-Frankfurt route during 2018, marking the return of a German airline to Sky Harbor.[28]


Air Canada Seasonal: Calgary, Vancouver [29]
Air Canada Express Seasonal: Calgary, Vancouver [29]
Air Canada Rouge Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
Alaska Airlines Everett (begins February 18, 2019),[30] Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Anchorage, San Francisco
American Airlines Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Boston, Cancún, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Fresno, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lihue, Los Angeles, Mazatlán, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Newark, Oakland, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta, Raleigh/Durham (begins May 3, 2019),[32] 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, Tucson, Vancouver, Washington–National
Seasonal: Anchorage, Grand Rapids (begins December 19, 2018),[33] Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Jackson Hole, London–Heathrow (begins March 31, 2019),[34] San José de Costa Rica
American Eagle Amarillo, Albuquerque, Bakersfield, Boise, Burbank, Durango (CO), Eugene, El Paso, Flagstaff, Fresno, Grand Junction, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Medford, Memphis, Midland/Odessa, Monterey, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Ontario, Palm Springs, Redmond/Bend, Reno/Tahoe, Roswell, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Fe, Santa Rosa, Sioux Falls, St. George (UT), Tucson, Yuma
Seasonal: Aspen, Eagle/Vail, Edmonton, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Madison (begins January 6, 2019),[36] Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Montrose
Boutique Air Cortez, Show Low, Silver City [37]
British Airways London–Heathrow [38]
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt [39]
Contour Airlines Page [40]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Cincinnati
Delta Connection Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma [41]
Frontier Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Denver
Seasonal: Cincinnati, Des Moines, Fort Myers, Grand Rapids, Madison, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Raleigh/Durham
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu [43]
JetBlue Airways Boston, Fort Lauderdale (begins February 14, 2019),[44] New York–JFK [45]
Southwest Airlines Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Buffalo, Burbank, Chicago–Midway, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas–Love, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Houston–Hobby, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, 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
Seasonal: Cincinnati, Des Moines, Little Rock, New York–LaGuardia
Spirit Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Sun Country Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul
Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth (begins February 6, 2019),[48] Portland (OR)
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Los Angeles
United Express Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Seasonal: Houston–Intercontinental
Volaris Culiacán, Guadalajara [51]
WestJet Calgary
Seasonal: Edmonton, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver, Winnipeg


Amazon Air Cincinnati [53]
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Reno/Tahoe, San Diego [54][55]
FedEx Express Dallas/Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Memphis, Oakland, Portland (OR) [citation needed]
FedEx Feeder Billings, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City, Yuma [citation needed]
UPS Airlines Albuquerque, Honolulu, Louisville, Ontario, Portland (OR) [citation needed]


A United Airlines Boeing 737-900 departing Sky Harbor.
An American Airlines A330 departing for Charlotte

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from PHX
(October 2017 – September 2018)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Colorado Denver, Colorado 1,034,280 American, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United
2 California Los Angeles, California 860,540 American, Delta, Southwest, United
3 Illinois Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 824,160 American, Frontier, Spirit, United
4 Washington (state) Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 790,140 Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest
5 Texas Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 655,380 American, Spirit
6 Minnesota Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 651,150 American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country
7 California San Diego, California 629,530 American, Southwest
8 Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada 622,950 American, Southwest
9 California San Francisco, California 561,810 Alaska, American, Southwest, United
10 Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 549,670 American, Delta, Southwest
Busiest international routes from PHX (2017)[57]
Rank City 2017 Passengers 2016 Passengers Carriers Change YoY (%)
1 Mexico San José del Cabo, Mexico 286,513 284,507 American Increase00.71
2 Canada Calgary, Canada 254,473 259,724 Air Canada, WestJet Decrease02.02
3 Canada Vancouver, Canada 253,170 242,625 Air Canada, American, WestJet Increase04.35
4 United Kingdom London–Heathrow, United Kingdom 214,159 211,772 British Airways Increase01.13
5 Canada Toronto–Pearson, Canada 196,605 195,713 Air Canada, WestJet Increase00.46
6 Mexico Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 161,839 137,432 American Increase017.76
7 Mexico Cancún, Mexico 150,222 148,161 American Increase01.39
8 Canada Edmonton, Canada 110,710 111,193 American, WestJet Decrease00.43
9 Mexico Guadalajara, Mexico 109,901 131,335 American, Volaris Decrease016.32
10 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico 86,694 105,924 American Decrease018.15
11 Mexico Mazatlan, Mexico 63,551 62,399 American Increase01.85
12 Mexico Hermosillo, Mexico 34,529 31,833 American Increase08.47
13 Canada Winnipeg, Canada 31,608 26,438 WestJet Increase019.56
14 Canada Saskatoon, Canada 21,024 17,457 WestJet Increase020.43
15 Costa Rica San Jose, Costa Rica 21,001 21,141 American Decrease00.66
16 Canada Regina, Canada 20,062 20,612 WestJet Decrease02.67
17 Mexico Culiacán, Mexico 13,356 12,931 Volaris Increase03.29
18 Mexico Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico 11,557 12,557 American Decrease07.96
19 Canada Kelowna, Canada 10,781 9,237 WestJet Increase016.72
20 Mexico Manzanillo, Mexico 1,560 1,166 American Increase033.79
21 Canada Victoria, Canada 0 3,348 WestJet Decrease0100.00
22 Germany Frankfurt, Germany N/A N/A Condor N/A
23 Canada Montréal, Canada N/A N/A Air Canada N/A

Annual traffic[edit]

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at PHX, 1951 through 2017[58][59]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
1951 240,786 1971 3,000,707 1991 22,140,437 2011 40,592,295
1952 296,066 1972 3,365,122 1992 22,118,399 2012 40,448,932
1953 325,311 1973 3,776,725 1993 23,621,781 2013 40,341,614
1954 365,545 1974 3,962,988 1994 25,626,132 2014 42,134,662
1955 442,587 1975 3,964,942 1995 27,856,195 2015 44,006,206
1956 495,268 1976 4,414,625 1996 30,411,852 2016 43,383,528
1957 581,087 1977 4,984,653 1997 30,677,210 2017 43,921,670
1958 658,889 1978 5,931,860 1998 31,769,113
1959 783,115 1979 7,021,985 1999 33,554,407
1960 857,318 1980 6,585,854 2000 36,044,281
1961 920,096 1981 6,641,750 2001 35,437,051
1962 1,090,953 1982 7,491,516 2002 35,547,432
1963 1,247,684 1983 8,605,408 2003 37,423,502
1964 1,411,912 1984 10,801,658 2004 39,504,323
1965 1,594,895 1985 13,422,764 2005 41,204,071
1966 1,943,336 1986 15,556,994 2006 41,436,498
1967 2,236,637 1987 17,723,046 2007 42,184,515
1968 2,515,326 1988 19,178,100 2008 39,891,193
1969 2,795,212 1989 20,714,059 2009 37,824,982
1970 2,871,958 1990 21,718,068 2010 38,554,530

Airline Market Share[edit]

Airline market share (October 2017 to September 2018)[60]
Rank Carrier Passengers Share
1 American 15,236,000 37.28%
2 Southwest 14,768,000 36.14%
3 Mesa 2,396,000 5.86%
4 Delta 2,363,000 5.78%
5 United 2,076,000 5.08%
6 Alaska 830,305 1.89%
- Other airlines 4,068,000 9.97%

PHX (through February 28, 2018) has an average of 1,181 aircraft operations per day.[61] [1]

Commercial Air Taxi GA Transient Military
1,040 78 57 6

There are 78 aircraft based at PHX.[61]

Single-Engine Multi-Engine Jet Helicopter Military
17 11 28 14 8

Airport development[edit]

PHX Sky Train[edit]

PHX Sky Train.
  • The Phoenix Sky Train is an automated people-mover, much like other airports', that transports Sky Harbor passengers from the 44th Street and Washington Light Rail station to Sky Harbor's East Economy Parking lot, through all three terminals.
    • Phase 1 opened on April 8, 2013 and runs from the 44th Street and Washington Light Rail station, to East Economy Parking and on to Terminal 4.[62]
    • Phase 1A shuttles passengers to Terminal 3 with a walkway to Terminal 2. Phase 1A opened on December 8, 2014.[63]
    • Phase 2 will transport passengers to the Rental Car Center. Phase two is not expected to be completed anytime prior to 2022.[63]
  • Sky Harbor is the first airport in the world to have a train track high enough for aircraft to pass underneath, standing above Taxiway R at 100 feet (30 meters).[64]

Other projects[edit]

  • Sky Harbor has initiated a three-component "Terminal 3 Modernization Plan" which is anticipated to accommodate the current carriers at Terminal 3 as well as carriers at Terminal 2, which is to be phased out.[65]
    • Component 1 began in April 2015, and consolidated the two undersized security checkpoints with a single large security checkpoint. Also included in this component are additional ticket counters, baggage carousels, upgrades to the HVAC system, and new interior and exterior finishes. This phase was completed in December 2016. (status: Complete)[66]
    • Component 2 will demolish the existing South Concourse and replace it with a new 15-gate linear concourse, and will allow for the closure of Terminal 2.(status: In-progress)[66]
    • Component 3 will renovate the North Concourse, with expanded concessions and new interior and exterior finishes. (status: Not started)[66]
  • Eighth and final concourse at Terminal 4 to provide eight additional gates for Southwest Airlines to be completed by 2021.[67]
  • $40 million in investments from Southwest Airlines to double its maintenance facilities as well as add an additional hangar.[67]
  • Sky Harbor's southern-most runway (7R/25L) was fitted with three new safety features in October 2010:
    • Installation of runway status lights warning pilots of unsafe crossing.
    • Two new runway exits.
    • An extension of the runway's safety area in the event an airplane over-runs the runway.
  • On November 12, 2013, Phoenix City Council approved a $27 million project to renovate the international facilities in Terminal 4. The renovation will increase the number of passengers that can be processed per hour from 600 to 800+. Other enhancements will include:[68]
    • New stairs
    • Faster and larger elevators
    • Increased queuing space with a reconfigured primary processing queue and entry
    • Enlargement of baggage carousels
    • 12 automated Passport Control kiosks
    • New queueing area for special screening

Airline lounges[edit]

Ground transportation[edit]

Sky Train Station on 44th Street

Travelers can access East Economy Parking from the PHX Sky Train at Terminal 4.[72] 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.[73]

A number of taxi, limousine, and shuttle companies provide service between each airport terminal, the Phoenix metropolitan area, and other communities throughout the state.[74]

By road, the airport terminals are served by East Sky Harbor Boulevard, which is mainly fed by Interstate 10, Arizona State Route 143, and Arizona State Route 202.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On June 27, 1969, N3150Y, a Cessna 182 Skylane, flying from Hawthorne Airport in Hawthorne, CA to Sky Harbor, hit the high-tension power lines east of the airport and crashed at 10:48 pm in the Salt River bed while attempting to land on Runway 26R, knocking out power to the airport and killing all three passengers on board. This incident has been the only fatal accident on airport property.

Air National Guard base[edit]

161st Air Refueling Wing - KC-135 Stratotankers
Air Mobility Command.svg
Air National Guard.png

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.[75]

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 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.[76]

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.

In popular culture[edit]

The airport is part of the story in the movie Ground Control[77] but many scenes involving an airport were recorded at California airports instead.[78]

Arizona band Jimmy Eat World released a song titled "Goodbye Sky Harbor" on their 1999 album Clarity.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e FAA Airport Master Record for PHX (Form 5010 PDF), effective July 5, 2007
  2. ^ "Passenger and Traffic Statistics for 2015". City of Phoenix - Aviation Department. 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  3. ^ "Year to date Passenger Traffic". ACI. 2015-06-22. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Newsroom - Multimedia - American Airlines Group, Inc".
  5. ^ Brodesky, Josh (February 15, 2013). "Loss of a corporate headquarters may cost Phoenix jobs, prestige". The Dallas Morning News. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  6. ^ Thompson, Clay (March 24 14, 2014). "Arizona 101: Sky Harbor Airport". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 20, 2018. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ a b Thompson, Clay (January 14, 2001). "Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in Arizona". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  8. ^ "1935 and The Farm – Sky Harbor's Early Years and Memories". Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. August 30, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d "Phoenix Sky Harbor – City of Tempe History". City of Tempe. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Sky Harbor and the Beginning of the Modern Era". Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. September 7, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c Lehman, William. "US Airways: A Heritage Story". US Airways. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  12. ^ "Openings/Closings". Southwest Airlines. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  13. ^ "The 80's: A Time of Change". Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. September 13, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  14. ^ "Name on Airport Terminal Has Goldwater Flying High". Orlando Sentinel. November 4, 1990. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  15. ^ "Terminal 4 Expansion Projects Concourse N1, N4 & S2" (PDF). Landrum & Brown. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  16. ^ Ayres Jr., B. Drummond (July 13, 1998). "Political Briefing; A Sky-High Tribute Grounded by Fallout". The New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  17. ^ Giblin, Paul; Lipton, Eric (February 24, 2007). "New Airport X-Rays Scan Bodies, Not Just Bags". The New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  18. ^,SkyHarbor.html |accessdate=July 27, 2018
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