Gateway Airport experiences consistent growth

Consistent passenger growth at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has prompted renovations and developments that encourage visitors to come to the Valley and ease the traveling process.

The airport recently announced it has experienced 13 consecutive months of year over year passenger growth.

“The last six months, ending in October, have been the best months of the respective months in the history of the airport. We just completed our busiest October ever and that’s a trend that we see will continue,” Ryan Smith, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport director of communications and government relations, said.

Over the last year, the airport added 13 new destinations where travelers can fly nonstop. It now has 47 destinations total.

Smith said, “Of that, 34 destinations do not have any direct competition with Sky Harbor.”

Providing more avenues for visitors to travel to the Valley creates business for more than just the airport.

“We are serving areas that are bringing people to Arizona that come and spend their money, stay at hotels, eat at restaurants and shop at our malls,” Smith said. “So, it’s a great thing for the region and a great thing for the entire state of Arizona.”

The passenger growth at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport drove the need for renovations and additions that make traveling easier.

Smith said the airport expanded its security checkpoint area last year. It also added additional queuing areas for passengers and added space for two additional security checkpoint lanes.

Anticipation of holiday travel was another factor in the airport’s customer drop off expansion project completed earlier this month.

The renovation project “opened up additional lanes for passenger pick up and drop off and made it easier to get in and out of our hourly parking lot,” Smith explained.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport also announced it will add two new hangars to the airport, which will be the first private development at the airport in about a decade.

Smith explained that as “corporate jets” have increased in size, it has required higher hangar doors.

“Both of those new hangars will be designed to accommodate the largest corporate jet traffic that exists,” Smith said. “That just opens up the possibility of bringing in more and more people to the southeast valley.”

Construction for the hangars is set to begin in the next four to six months, depending on permits.

“One of the reasons they are anxious to get [the hangars] going is because they have seen the demand. They want to get ahead of the market and be able to respond to that increasing demand,” Smith said.

The airport expects to have the first hangar completed and ready for use within 12 to 16 months.

Sierra Ciaramella

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