Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is Arizona's largest and busiest airport, and one of the United States' largest commercial airports. It is classified as a civil-military public airport, serving as a hub for American Airlines and a base of operations for Southwest Airlines.

Airport history

The name Sky Harbor Airport was thought of in 1928 by Scenic Airways’ owner, J. Parker Van Zandt. Sky Harbor took from late 1928 until early 1929 to build and was Phoenix’s fourth airport. The airport was owned by Acme Investment Company until 1935 after Scenic Airways dissolved. Maddux Air Lines began the airport's first scheduled passenger service, with a flight between San Francisco and El Paso, on February 23, 1929. In 1935, Sky Harbor airport was bought for $100,000 by the city of Phoenix. Following World War II, the airport began work on a new passenger terminal, parallel runway, and a diagonal runway. Terminal 1, which also had the first control tower, opened in October 1952 and lasted until 1991, when it was torn down to make room for a cell phone waiting lot. The airport’s master plan was reworked in 1959 to get rid of the cross runway and make room for more terminals. Terminal 2 opened in 1962, featuring a 16-foot-high and 75-foot-wide mural titled “The Phoenix,” designed by the late French-American artist Paul Coze. In November 2006, a Military and Veterans Hospitality Room opened in Terminal 2, but has since moved to Terminal 4 as the new USO. The terminal went through two renovations, the first was finished in 1988 and the second was completed in 2007. Work on Terminal 3 began in January 1977 and opened in October 1979, when the "East" and "West" names were done away with. After the Airline Deregulation Act was enacted in 1978, many newer airlines started service from the airport. Eastern Airlines and Allegheny Airlines soon began, followed by United Airlines in 1980. 
In October 1989, ground broke for the addition of Terminal 4, which was going to be the airports biggest terminal, opening with four concourses on November 2, 1990. In 1994, the N4 International Concourse was opened, and then three years later, construction began on the 14-gate N1 concourse, designated for America West Airlines. Its constructions marked the completion of the terminal’s north side and was finished in June 1998 at a cost of $50 million. Sky Harbor began its initial transatlantic flights in 1996, with non-stop British Airways routes to London. Beginning in 2002, over on the south side of the terminal, construction started on the eight-gate S2 concourse for Southwest Airlines, and was finished in 2004. 

Airport location

KPHX is only three miles east of downtown Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Airport facts

● The Wall Street Journal ranked Sky Harbor as the best airport overall among the 20 largest airports in the U.S. in 2019. 

● From 1951 through the end of 2020, over 1.293 billion passengers (domestic and international) have transited through PHX, an annual average of nearly 18.5 million passengers. 

● Sky Harbor's private airplane area is also one of eight service centers for the Medevac airline Air Evac.

What to dress for

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