PHOENIX — On December 5, 2016, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport [PHX] officially opened the first part of a multi-phase reconstruction of its Terminal 3, when Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and members of the Phoenix City Council rolled back temporary construction walls to reveal the modernized building.
“This enhanced terminal will help travelers find their way more intuitively while showcasing spectacular views of Camelback Mountain and the Phoenix skyline,” said Mayor Stanton. “As the largest economic engine in Arizona, these improvements to Sky Harbor will benefit not only travelers but the entire region.”
Over the past year, Terminal 3 has undergone a dramatic transformation. Originally opened in 1979, the terminal has been updated to reflect Arizona’s hospitality feel with modern finishes, lots of light, and an overall more inviting travel experience with impressive views of the Phoenix landscape and downtown city skyline. One new feature is a West Plaza which provides an outdoor area with native Arizona plants and an animal relief area.
“Phoenix Sky Harbor’s goal is to provide world-class customer service to each customer every day,” said Vice Mayor Kate Gallego. “We want to provide passengers with a superior travel experience in our state-of-the-art facility. Travelers will find not only the services they need, but extras they desire such as access to power at nearly every seat.”
Improvements as part of the first phase include 31 new common use ticket counters to allow for flexibility among the airlines. Terminal 3 currently serves Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian and JetBlue. A new, larger, consolidated security checkpoint will get travelers to their gates faster, and travelers will find the pre-composure and re-composure areas before and after the security checkpoints to have ample space. Additionally, a new Phoenix Airport Museum Gallery will be located past security so that travelers can enjoy Arizona’s cultural and artistic heritage while waiting for their flights.
As one might surmise from its name, Terminal 3 was Sky Harbor’s third terminal. Terminals 1 and 2 opened in 1952 and 1962 respectively. Terminal 3 was built in the late 1970s, just before airline deregulation, and was a dramatic improvement over the airport’s earlier terminals. When it opened in 1979, the airport’s total passenger traffic was about 7 million passengers per year. After Terminal 4 was opened, Terminal 1 was demolished, however the remaining terminals were not renumbered.
The Terminal 3 Modernization Program is being completed in phases to minimize impacts to customers. Two additional phases will include replacing the south concourse and upgrading the north concourse with improved customer amenities. The second phase consists of demolition of the existing 6-gate South Concourse to make room for a larger concourse that will initially have 15 gates.
The new concourse will be built parallel to Taxiway Delta, which will be improved under a separate project to accommodate Airplane Design Group V aircraft. The new concourse’s additional gate capacity will allow the closure of obsolete Terminal 2. This phase of the project is underway and the new South Concourse will open in late 2018/early 2019.
Finally, the project’s third phase will provide an upgraded customer experience for passengers using the North Concourse, including improved food and beverage concessions and enhanced customer amenities. These improvements will be constructed after the South Concourse opens and the improved North Concourse will open in 2020. The entire $590 million project (in 2014 dollar figures) is financed through airport revenues such as parking, concessions and tenant fees, with no local tax dollars used. All phases of the project should be completed by 2020.
Airways wishes to thank Greg Roybal and Heather J. Lissner of the City of Phoenix Aviation Department’s PR office for their kind assistance.