Phoenix Airport Approves $5.7B Plan
A 20-year plan for Sky Harbor’s International Airport has been unanimously approved by the Phoenix City Council in a 9-0 vote.
The plan aims to ensure that the airport will be able to keep up with increasing passenger and cargo demands, which are expected to double to more than 70 million passengers per year by 2039.
As part of the changes happening at Sky Harbor, in January of this year, St. Louis-Missouri-based general contractor McCarthy Building Cos. Inc. was chosen as the general contractor for a new $310 million concourse being constructed at the international airport.
The final concourse at Terminal 4 in Sky Harbor is part of a larger scheme of work at the airport—McCarthy worked on the PHX Sky Train expansion to Terminal 3 and a flooring replacement project in Terminal 4 as well, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.
For the 130,000-square-foot concourse project, McCarthy will be responsible for procuring subcontractors, construction, scheduling, quality control and closeout.
The concourse will include eight new gates slated for use by Southwest Airlines, the airport’s second largest carrier, and will feature new facilities for both travelers and airlines.
The McCarthy contract is reportedly set at $240 million for the guaranteed maximum price. Construction is expected to begin this year and complete in early 2022.
The 20-Year Plan
As required by the Federal Aviation Administration, airports must maintain short- and long-term goals for existing facilities, updating the plans every seven to 10 years. The last long-range plan for Sky Harbor began in 2010 and since 2017, the airport has worked with over 150 stakeholder groups.
Estimated at $5.7 billion, the plan includes lowering railroad tracks below ground and building taxiways as well as moving the cargo facilities to the airport’s north side. The decision to move the cargo facilities also frees up space for the Air National Guard to expand refueling operations.
Additionally, the plans intend to demolish Terminal 2 (hopefully by next year) and add gates which would be accessible by bus to drop passengers off to their desired tarmac.
"Terminal 2 no longer meets the needs that it met in 1962 when it opened," Sky Harbor assistant director Deborah Ostreicher told KTAR-FM. "So Terminal 2 will be coming down, Terminal 3 is being modernized and another concourse is being connected to Terminal 4."
However, none of the plans are set in stone. City council will have to approve each step of the plan’s outline as they are presented for green-lighting. Regarding funding, costs are to be covered by airport passenger fees in addition to state and federal grants.
"We want to be smart about how we plan for the future," Ostreicher continued. "Every time a need comes up if we just make a random decision or even a strategic decision about putting something one place versus another, it may not carry us well into the future."
The plan now goes to the FAA for approval.