MIAMI — Tamie Fisher will take over as Acting Phoenix Aviation Director on October 30, becoming the first female ever to lead the department since the city took ownership of Sky Harbor Airport in 1935. She takes over for Danny Murphy, who is retiring after working for the city of Phoenix for 31 years.
Fisher started her career at Sky Harbor in 2003 as a special projects administrator to lead the development of the airport’s Rental Car Center, which opened in 2006. “From 2006 to 2010, I served as deputy aviation director for business and properties, overseeing airline tenant relations and the airport’s concessions program and other revenue-generating initiatives during challenging economic times,” she said.
As assistant aviation director since 2010, Fisher has overseen business and real estate, planning, government relations, financial management, the airport museum, and airport development, including the Terminal 3 Modernization project, the PHX Sky Train, and the internationally acclaimed food and beverage renovation of Terminal 4. “I also served as acting aviation director from October 2013 to May 2014 while Danny Murphy was on assignment at Phoenix City Hall,” he said.
Fisher said her priorities as acting director will be safety, security and customer service. “World class customer service means providing state-of-the-art facilities and amenities. I am looking forward to seeing the modernization of Terminal 3 transition from design to reality,” she said. “I am also confident that our upcoming retail redevelopment in Terminal 4, which serves 85 percent of our passengers, will be as successful as the popular food and beverage upgrade in that terminal.”
The design phase of the Terminal 3 Modernization Program is nearing completion and enabling work is now underway, allowing construction to begin in earnest in the spring, following the Super Bowl, said Fisher. “The first phase of construction on the main terminal building, which includes the redevelopment of the Terminal 3 security checkpoint, will be complete by mid 2016,” she said. “Additional phases of construction will include redevelopment of the concourses. The current plan is to complete the modernization of Terminal 3 by 2020.”
The PHX Sky Train will connect all three terminals, the airport’s largest economy parking area and the regional light rail system in time for the Super Bowl in 2015, said Fisher. “The newest stage, which will transport passengers between Terminal 4 and Terminal 3 with a walkway to Terminal 2 is in its final stages of testing,” she added.
The airport is in the middle of an RFP to attract more international service as it also upgrades its international arrival area to accommodate a doubling of passengers from other countries by 2030. “This project will allow the airport to accommodate those additional visitors much more efficiently by enhancing elevators, escalators and stairs and expanding waiting areas and baggage carousels,” said Fisher. “We also have an incentive program which includes marketing support and landing fee waivers.”
Sky Harbor is particularly focused on further developing Canada and Mexico, as well as attracting service to mainland Europe and to Asia, said Fisher. “While we have a daily non-stop to London on British Airways, there is significant traffic flying from Phoenix to mainland Europe through other gateways, and we think the time is right to capture that,” she said. “At the same time, we are seeing a steady increase between Phoenix and Tokyo so we are in close touch with airlines that fly there.”
Fisher said she was “honored” to have been chosen as acting director for a second time, looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead. “A national search will take place for a permanent director and I’m certain there will be many qualified candidates applying for the position,” she said.