This updated exterior photo of Terminal 3 clearly reflects its new name, the John S. McCain III Terminal, which was adopted by the Phoenix city council upon the Senator's retirement in 2017.

PHOENIX — Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport [PHX] began receiving flights at its modernized Terminal 3 on February 3, and had its first departures on February 4, 2020, after the third phase of its three-part reconstruction program was successfully completed.

The Terminal 3 Modernization Program included three components:

Component 1 involved improving the terminal’s headhouses. This has streamlined the way passengers travel through PHX with a consolidated security checkpoint and new, efficient airline ticket counters. This component also includes a Museum Gallery and outdoor plaza.  

Component 2, opened in January 2019 and included the new 15-gate South Concourse and several additional customer amenities.

The South Concourse gate area with its colorful furniture and plenty of natural light.

Component 3 is the renovated North Concourse, with all-new customer services. The concourse features 10 airline gates and brand new shops, local-favorite restaurants, and helpful amenities such as an animal relief area, a nursing room, a family restroom, hearing loop connectivity in the gate areas, and access to power from every seat.

Terminal 3 North Concourse

The remaining airlines at Terminal 2 were relocated to Terminal 3 by February 6. With the completion of the Terminal 3 Modernization Program, Terminal 2 will be closed.

The newly upgraded Terminal will serve Air Canada, Alaska, Boutique Air, Contour Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Sun Country, and United.

PHX unveiled a plaque at Terminal 3 in dedication to the late Sen. John McCain

On January 28, 2020, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Cindy McCain, members of the Phoenix City Council and other city leaders unveiled a plaque at Phoenix Sky Harbor’s John S. McCain III Terminal 3 to honor the longtime U.S. Senator.

Terminal 3 Plaque Unveiling
Pictured from left to right:  Vice Mayor Betty Guardado; Councilmember Carlos Garcia, District 8; Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego; Councilmember Jim Waring, District 2; Councilmember Laura Pastor, District 4; Cindy McCain; and Councilmember Thelda Williams, District 1 and Chair of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Innovation Subcommittee.

“This is a great day for Phoenix,” said Mayor Gallego. “We dedicated Terminal 3 to one of our nation’s greatest public servants–John McCain. We also marked the completion of a multi-year modernization project at the airport.”

“The new concourse will be home to local restaurants, stunning art, a nursing room, and increased energy efficiency standards. This is another important investment in our state’s number one economic driver,” added Gallego.

The modernized exterior of Terminal 3 with its new name, the John S. McCain III Terminal.

Cindy McCain also attended the unveiling of her husband’s plaque, which will be permanently installed on Level 1 of the terminal bearing his name. She said, “Aviation was in John’s blood. The terminal that now bears his name in our state’s beloved airport is one small way that his legacy will live on in the place he called home.”

The Terminal 3 Modernization Program opens after PHX achieved an all-time high for the number of passengers traveling through the airport in 2019. Nearly 46.3 million travelers passed through PHX last year, surpassing the previous record set in 2018 when the airport saw just under 45 million passengers.

Construction is also underway at Terminal 4 where an eight-gate concourse is being built and slated to open in 2022. It will be occupied by Southwest Airlines and will feature new shops, restaurants and customer amenities.

PHX has an annual economic impact of more than $38 billion. Every day approximately 1,200 aircraft and more than 125,000 passengers arrive and depart to and from the airport.

Airways wishes to thank Heather Shelbrack, Public Information Manager of the City of Phoenix Aviation Department, for assisting with this article.