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Sky Harbor Airport plans for new terminal



It would be big enough for widebody planes, which are used on long-haul international flights but will also have space for shorter-range commuter flights.

PHOENIX — Sky Harbor may be getting a long-awaited third terminal. 

Tuesday, the Phoenix City Council discussed long-term plans and the need for a new terminal to expand Sky Harbor International Airport’s capacity.

The idea was floated in April. 

“If you’ve walked through terminals 3 and 4 recently, there’s no doubt you’ve noticed how much busier they are than in past years,” Mayor Kate Gallego said during her State of the City address. “Soon we will need a new terminal to accommodate our future growth.”

But planning for the West Terminal actually began years ago, during Sky Harbor’s master plan for the future. 

The plan calls for a new terminal at the airport’s west end. The current maps show the terminal situated where the west parking lot currently sits. It would be a huge project, with gates on each side of the road into Sky Harbor and the Sky Train running down the middle. 

It would be big enough for widebody planes, which are used on long-haul international flights but also have space for shorter-range commuter flights. The terminal would also have its own customs entrance for international flights, Gallego said. 

In 2023, Sky Harbor experienced its busiest year ever after nearly 49 million people passed through the Phoenix airport.

Airport officials said Tuesday that made Sky Harbor the busiest three-runway airport in the world that year. 

But, they stressed, Sky Harbor does not need to build a fourth runway to accommodate that extra traffic. Officials said the airport’s expected traffic does not rise to that level in the next 20 years. 

Sky Harbor reported its busiest day on Feb. 13, 2023, which was the day after Arizona hosted the Super Bowl.

Sky Harbor’s first modern terminal was demolished in 1990 and Terminal 2, which originally opened in 1962, was closed in 2020. 

The new West Terminal would sit in roughly the same place as the former Terminal 2. 

The project is expected to cost more than $560 million and funding sources have not been nailed down. The airport’s plan identifies private, state and federal sources as possibilities for construction.

There’s no date for the project either, but the terminal is listed as a “long-term” project. 

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