Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
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. It is Arizona's largest and busiest airport, and among the largest commercial airports in the United States. In 2018, PHX served 44,943,686 passengers, making it the forty-fourth busiest airport in the world.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
|Owner||City of Phoenix|
|Operator||Phoenix Airport System|
|Serves||Phoenix metropolitan area|
|Location||Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||1,135 ft / 346 m|
FAA airport diagram
The airport serves as the sixth-largest hub for American Airlines with over 300 daily departures to 95 destinations in 4 countries. 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. 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.
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.
Sky Harbor Airport's 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. Sky Harbor was the fourth airport built in Phoenix. 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.
After World War II 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 Wing") 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 Wing") 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.
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.
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.
From 1951 through the end of 2018, over 1.225 billion passengers (domestic and international, enplaned and deplaned) transited through PHX, an annual average of just over 18 million passengers. In the same time there were over 27.5 million aircraft movements (commercial, military, general aviation) at PHX, an annual average of about 405 thousand movements. PHX has grown over the years into a major US hub, and ranks the forty-fourth busiest airport in the world and thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States in passenger boardings.
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.
- 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)
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. 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. The second project, which cost $24 million and was designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., was completed in 2007.
Terminal 2 will be demolished 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.
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 and is named after the late Senator John McCain.
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. In January 2019 Delta opened a brand new Sky Club in the new South Concourse. After the Terminal Modernization Project is complete in 2020, Terminal 2 will be closed and its operations will move to Terminal 3. United Airlines will open a brand new United Club in the new north concourse when it moves in 2020. 
Terminal 4, also designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., opened in 1990 and is the largest and busiest of the three terminals with 86 gates, divided into seven satellite concourses connected behind security. This terminal is named after Barry M. Goldwater.
Airlines and destinationsEdit
|1||Denver, Colorado||1,049,820||American, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United|
|2||Los Angeles, California||859,150||American, Delta, Southwest, United|
|3||Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois||823,850||American, Frontier, Spirit, United|
|4||Seattle/Tacoma, Washington||805,330||Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest|
|5||Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota||662,960||American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country|
|6||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||650,270||American, Spirit|
|7||San Diego, California||641,220||American, Southwest|
|8||Las Vegas, Nevada||626,410||American, Southwest|
|9||San Francisco, California||567,750||Alaska, American, Southwest, United|
|10||Salt Lake City, Utah||552,220||American, Delta, Southwest|
|1||San José del Cabo, Mexico||286,513||American|
|2||Calgary, Canada||254,473||Air Canada, WestJet|
|3||Vancouver, Canada||253,170||Air Canada, American, WestJet|
|4||London–Heathrow, United Kingdom||214,159||British Airways|
|5||Toronto–Pearson, Canada||196,605||Air Canada, WestJet|
|6||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico||161,839||American|
|8||Edmonton, Canada||110,710||American, WestJet|
|9||Guadalajara, Mexico||109,901||American, Volaris|
|10||Mexico City, Mexico||86,694||American|
|4||Delta Air Lines||2,400,000||5.83%|
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 and 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.
PHX Sky TrainEdit
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. Phase 1A shuttles passengers to Terminal 3 with a walkway to Terminal 2. Phase 1A opened on December 8, 2014. Phase 2 will transport passengers to the Rental Car Center. Phase two is not expected to be completed anytime prior to 2022.
Accidents and incidentsEdit
- On June 27, 1969, N3150Y, a Cessna 182 Skylane, flying from Hawthorne Airport in Hawthorne, California, 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.
- FAA Airport Master Record for PHX ( PDF), effective July 5, 2007
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Recently renamed from US Airways Club to Admirals Club.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.|
- www.skyharbor.com, official site
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) at Arizona DOT airport directory
- Sky Harbor Airport Parking
- (PDF), effective February 28, 2019
- FAA Terminal Procedures for PHX, effective February 28, 2019
- Resources for this airport: