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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

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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 2018, PHX served 44,943,686 passengers, making it the forty-fourth busiest airport in the world.[3]

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Logo.svg
Sky Harbor - 2008-08-29 - Control Tower.jpg
Summary
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
Websitewww.skyharbor.com
Maps
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
PHX is located in Arizona
PHX
PHX
Location within Arizona/United States
PHX is located in the United States
PHX
PHX
PHX (the United States)
Runways
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 (2018)
Aircraft operations434,252
Passenger volume44,943,686

The airport serves as the sixth-largest hub for American Airlines with over 250 daily departures to 102 destinations in 5 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.

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.[6]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
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 distance
 
A Southwest 737–800 departing PHX
 
American Airlines aircraft at Terminal 4

Sky Harbor Airport's evocative 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.[7][8] Sky Harbor was the fourth airport built in Phoenix.[8] 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.[9]

After World War II the airport began work on a new passenger terminal, as well as a new parallel runway and a diagonal runway.[10] 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.[10] 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 the summer of 1959.

The airport's master plan was redesigned in 1959 to eliminate the cross runway to make room for new terminals.[10] 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.[11] Terminal 3 opened in October 1979,[10] 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.[12]

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.[12]

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.[13]

In October 1989 ground was broken for Terminal 4, the largest terminal.[14] It opened on November 2, 1990[15] 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,[16] 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 began construction in May 2019. 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.[17]

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.[12]

In 2007 the Transportation Security Administration introduced the first of its backscatter X-ray machines at PHX.[18]

On March 31, 2019 American Airlines began offering non-stop flights on its Boeing 777-200s from Phoenix to London.[19]

Sky Harbor's private airplane area is also one of eight service centers for the Medevac airline Air Evac.[20]

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.[21] 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.

FacilitiesEdit

ATC TowerEdit

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.[22][23]

RunwaysEdit

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 can accommodate aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 900,000 lb (410,000 kg) or greater.[1]

TerminalsEdit

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 (1–15,C,D) and three parking slots. Airlines that currently use Terminal 2 include Advanced Air, Alaska Airlines, Boutique Air, Contour, Spirit, and United. United operates a United Club in the terminal.

Following completion of the Terminal 3 Modernization Project in 2020, the airlines will be moved to the Terminal 3 North concourse and Terminal 2 will be demolished.[24]

Terminal 2 was designed by the Phoenix architectural firms of Weaver & Drover and Lescher & Mahoney and opened in 1962.[25] Terminal 2 also features 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.[26] The second project, which cost $24 million and was designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., was completed in 2007.[25][27]

Terminal 3, officially named John S. McCain III Terminal 3, has 15 active gates (F1-F15) and is currently used by Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, and Sun Country. Delta operates a Sky Club in the terminal.

The ongoing Terminal 3 Modernization project involves three components, which seeks to improve the capacity and convenience features of the terminal. This project updates the terminal after its last renovation in 1997. Component One opened December 2016 and redeveloped the central terminal building, creating a consolidated security checkpoint, new airline ticket counters, an updated Museum Gallery, HVAC enhancements, and increased baggage handling capacity. Component Two involved the complete demolition and reconstruction of the southern concourse, which was opened in January 2019. The new linear concourse includes new shops and retail, as well as a new Delta Air Lines Sky Club.[28] Component Three will renovate the North Concourse amenities and feature a new United Airlines United Club.[29] The third phase is expected to be complete in 2020. Upon completion of Terminal Modernization Project, the airport authority will close Terminal 2 and all operators will move to Terminal 3.[30]

Designed by DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., construction on the original terminal began in January 1977. The terminal opened in October 1979. The north concourse houses gates 15–26. In 2017 the terminal was named in honor of the late Senator John McCain.[31][32]

Terminal 4, officially named Barry M. Goldwater Terminal 4, is the airport's largest and busiest terminal. It holds 84 gates (A1-30, B1-28, C1-19, and D1-8) within 7 concourses. The airlines using Terminal 4 are Air Canada, American, British Airways, Condor, Southwest, Volaris, and WestJet. Terminal 4 is the exclusive international customs arrival terminal. Reflecting its longtime presence at Sky Harbor, American operates three Admirals Club locations in the terminal.[33] Terminal 4 also houses the Sky Harbor USO Club, available for active, reserve, and retired military personnel and their spouses and dependents.

Terminal 4 was 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.[25] The terminal is named in honor of late senator and 1964 presidential candidate Barry M. Goldwater.

Airlines and destinationsEdit

PassengerEdit

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
Advanced Air Hawthorne (CA), Silver City [34]
Air Canada Seasonal: Calgary, Vancouver [35]
Air Canada Express Seasonal: Calgary, Vancouver [35]
Air Canada Rouge Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
[35]
Alaska Airlines Everett, Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Anchorage
[36]
American Airlines Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Boston, Burbank, Cancún, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lihue, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Mazatlán, Memphis, Mexico City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Newark, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta, Raleigh/Durham, 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, Washington–National
Seasonal: Anchorage, Cincinnati (begins December 18, 2019),[37] Colorado Springs (begins December 18, 2019),[38] Fargo (begins December 18, 2019),[39] Fort Lauderdale (resumes December 18, 2019),[40] Fresno, Grand Rapids, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Jackson Hole, New Orleans (begins December 18, 2019),[41] San José de Costa Rica, Santa Barbara, Vancouver[42]
[43]
American Eagle Albuquerque, Bakersfield, Burbank, Chihuahua (begins December 18, 2019),[44] Dallas/Fort Worth, 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, Rapid City (begins September 4, 2019),[45] 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, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City (begins December 18, 2019),[41] Eagle/Vail, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Madison, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Montrose, Wichita (begins December 18, 2019)[41]
[43]
Boutique Air Cortez, Show Low [46]
British Airways London–Heathrow [47]
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt [48]
Contour Airlines Page [49]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma
Seasonal: Cincinnati
[50]
Delta Connection Los Angeles, Salt Lake City [50]
Eurowings Seasonal: Frankfurt (begins April 29, 2020) [51]
Frontier Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Denver, Las Vegas (begins September 6, 2019), Salt Lake City (resumes November 14, 2019), San Diego (begins November 14, 2019)
Seasonal: Cincinnati, Des Moines, Detroit (resumes November 15, 2019), Fargo (begins November 14, 2019), Grand Rapids, Madison, Milwaukee
[52] [53] [54]
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu [55]
JetBlue Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York–JFK [56]
JSX Burbank (begins August 30, 2019), Las Vegas (begins September 12, 2019) [57]
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 (ends November 3, 2019),[58] 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
[59]
Spirit Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle/Tacoma (begins on November 14, 2019)
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Minneapolis/St. Paul
[60]
Sun Country Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul
Seasonal: Las Vegas (begins September 5, 2019),[61] Portland (OR)
[62]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Los Angeles
[63]
United Express Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Seasonal: Houston–Intercontinental
[63]
Volaris Culiacán, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta [64]
WestJet Calgary
Seasonal: Edmonton, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver, Winnipeg
[65]

CargoEdit

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
Amazon Air Cincinnati [66]
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Reno/Tahoe, San Diego [67][68]
FedEx Express Dallas/Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Memphis, Oakland, Portland (OR)
FedEx Feeder Billings, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City, Yuma
UPS Airlines Albuquerque, Honolulu, Louisville, Ontario, Portland (OR) [69]

StatisticsEdit

Top destinationsEdit

Busiest domestic routes from PHX
(May 2018 – April 2019)
[70]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Denver, Colorado 1,050,000 American, Frontier, Southwest, United
2 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 852,000 American, Frontier, Spirit, United
3 Los Angeles, California 845,000 American, Delta, Southwest, United
4 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 828,000 Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest
5 Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota 666,000 American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country
6 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 660,000 American, Spirit, Sun Country
7 San Diego, California 651,000 American, Southwest
8 Las Vegas, Nevada 629,000 American, Southwest
9 San Francisco, California 575,000 Alaska, American, Southwest, United
10 Salt Lake City, Utah 550,000 American, Delta, Southwest
Busiest international routes from PHX (2018)[71]
Rank City 2018 Passengers Carriers
1   Vancouver, Canada 266,651 Air Canada, American, WestJet
2   San José del Cabo, Mexico 252,620 American
3   Calgary, Canada 248,955 Air Canada, WestJet
4   London–Heathrow, United Kingdom 242,543 British Airways
5   Toronto–Pearson, Canada 192,362 Air Canada, WestJet
6   Cancún, Mexico 155,483 American
7   Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 155,368 American
8   Edmonton, Canada 121,257 American, WestJet
9   Guadalajara, Mexico 98,484 American, Volaris
10   Mexico City, Mexico 91,560 American

Annual trafficEdit

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at PHX, 2000–present[72][73]
Year Passengers Year Passengers
2000 36,044,281 2011 40,592,295
2001 35,437,051 2012 40,448,932
2002 35,547,432 2013 40,341,614
2003 37,423,502 2014 42,134,662
2004 39,504,323 2015 44,006,206
2005 41,204,071 2016 43,383,528
2006 41,436,498 2017 43,921,670
2007 42,184,515 2018 44,943,686
2008 39,891,193 2019
2009 37,824,982 2020
2010 38,554,530 2021

Airline market shareEdit

Airline market share (March 2018 to February 2019)[74]
Rank Carrier Passengers Share
1 American Airlines 15,299,000 36.95%
2 Southwest Airlines 15,066,000 36.39%
3 Mesa Airlines 2,500,000 6.04%
4 Delta Air Lines 2,449,000 5.92%
5 United Airlines 2,086,000 5.04%
6 Other 3,999,000 9.66%

Ground transportationEdit

 
PHX Sky Train

Travelers can access East Economy Parking from the PHX Sky Train at Terminal 4.[75] 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.[76]

A number of taxi, limousine, and shuttle companies provide service between each airport terminal, the Phoenix metropolitan area, and other communities throughout the state.[77]

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.

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.[78] Phase 1A shuttles passengers to Terminal 3 with a walkway to Terminal 2. Phase 1A opened on December 8, 2014.[79] Phase 2 will transport passengers to the Rental Car Center. Phase two is not expected to be completed anytime prior to 2022.[79]

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.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "Passenger and Traffic Statistics for 2015". City of Phoenix – Aviation Department. 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
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  78. ^ "New PHX Sky Train debuts at Sky Harbor airport". Arizona Daily Star. April 9, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  79. ^ a b "PHX Sky Train® Now Serves All Terminals at Phoenix Sky Harbor" (Press release). Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. December 8, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2014.

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