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Phoenix Sky Harbor creates plan for airport’s future

(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — With a recent vote of approval from the Phoenix City Council, Phoenix Sky Harbor has sent a road map for the future of the airport to the Federal Aviation Administration for planning.

“We need to continue be strategic about how we think about an airport that is located essentially in the middle of the city that wasn’t originally planned for 45 million passengers a year,” Deborah Ostreicher, assistant director of Sky Harbor, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

Phoenix is one of the fastest growing cities in county and Sky Harbor is among the busiest of airports, but is essentially land locked with its location.

The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Comprehensive Asset Management Plan (CAMP) has planned nearly 20 years ahead for airport facilities, infrastructure and land development.

The long-term plan includes moving cargo and support operations to the north side of the airport to create room for expanded terminal facilities, working with the Union Pacific Railroad to partially trench the track and build a taxiway bridge so that planes can access the relocated cargo operations

The plan also includes providing space for the Air National Guard 161st Refueling Wing to expand on the south side of the airport.

“We want to be smart about how we plan for the future,” Ostreicher said. “Every time a need comes up if we just make a random decision or even a strategic decision about putting something one placer versus another, it may not carry us well into the future.

“By looking at what we anticipate 30 years ahead of time, that really helps us make strategic decisions – the best we can as of today.”

Sky Harbor is also committed to continuing their title of America’s Friendliest Airport.

The airport will also need to renovate some of its older space in Terminal 4, along with making other major changes to all of its terminals to better the customer experience.

“Terminal 2 no longer meets the needs that it met in 1962 when it opened,” Ostreicher said. “So Terminal 2 will be coming down, Terminal 3 is being modernized and another concourse is being connected to Terminal 4.”

Each individual project in the plan will need to be approved by the Phoenix City Council.

The airport road map is designed to be phased incrementally, so that each portion is built when demand warrants.

All projects would be paid for through grants, airport revenues, facility charges and bonds. No local tax dollars would be utilized.

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