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Phoenix City Council moves forward with new terminal at west end of Sky Harbor International Airport

photo of Sky Harbor
The new terminal will be built on the west side of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport near where the former Terminals 1 and 2 were located. Terminal 1 closed in 1990 and Terminal 2 closed in 2020. Both were demolished, City Hall officials report. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
City Hall: Sky Harbor International Airport saw 48 million passengers in 2023
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Earlier today, Phoenix City Council saw new plans for the construction of a new terminal at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Officials at City Hall report more than 48 million passengers passed through Phoenix Sky Harbor in calendar year 2023.

“Phoenix Sky Harbor is busier than ever, which is why we’ll soon need a new terminal to accommodate our growth,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a prepared statement.

“To continue providing excellent customer experience at America’s Friendliest Airport, the council and I are moving forward with plans to build a cutting-edge terminal at the airport’s west end. The new expansion is years in the making and I am looking forward to the continued work to turn our shared vision into reality.”

A future terminal on the west side of the airport has been part of Sky Harbor’s long-range plan and will sprout where Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 once stood, according to a press release.

“I am excited to see what the future will bring for Sky Harbor,” said Phoenix Vice Mayor Debra Stark. “As we look toward the construction of the new West Terminal, I will be focused on the things that already make our airport one of the best — it’s strong partnerships with our airlines, its accessibility for people with disabilities and its excellent local and national restaurants and stores. This investment allows us to take those strengths and build on them in the years ahead.”

The long-range comprehensive asset management plan, officials at City Hall say, is a roadmap for the airport’s future.

“I am proud of the work that our city has done to make Phoenix Sky Harbor an airport of choice for domestic and international airlines, to offer the flavors of Phoenix in our concessions, and to support jobs for residents throughout our community,” said Councilwoman Laura Pastor. “With this plan for Sky Harbor’s development and a new West Terminal, we are committing to continue to provide a world-class airport experience for our residents and visitors.”

In 2022, a new north concourse and post-security walkway at Terminal 3 was identified in the long-range comprehensive plan, but with the continued success at Sky Harbor city officials say more capacity is needed. The new terminal will be built on the west side of the airport campus near where the former Terminals 1 and 2 were located.

“To stay competitive for future air service, and to support the vital workforce that makes Sky Harbor run, we have to plan far ahead. We want to always be an airport that businesses value and workers choose,” said Councilwoman Betty Guardado. “The construction of a new West Terminal keeps us at the forefront of the aviation industry and ensures we will be well-positioned as Phoenix continues to grow.”

Officials at City Hall say details of the terminal design are still underway. Planning and environmental preparation will take several years, and construction is not anticipated to begin until after 2030.

“Over the years, Sky Harbor’s traffic has steadily increased, and Phoenix has anticipated and strategically planned for that growth through a comprehensive 20-year plan which involved numerous stakeholders with input,” said Councilwoman Kesha Hodge Washinton.

“Our residents, business and leisure travelers depend on the success of this airport and planning for growth is a natural outcome. I’m grateful that our Aviation Department is entering this pivotal phase and we are giving our residents and business partners the opportunity to learn what the future holds, and to share their thoughts on what can make America’s Friendliest Airport the best it can be.”

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