64 2009 GREATER PHOENIX ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIVING HERE getting around than 115,000 passengers and 760 tons of cargo for more than 20 domestic and international airlines, ranking Sky Harbor among the world's 10 busiest airports. That's a daily impact of about $ 90 million! A number of ongoing projects will accommodate the impending growth and make travel as convenient as pos-sible. Two years ago, the Phoenix mayor and City Council approved a $ 3 billion capital improvement program to take the airport through its next decade, including a new concourse at Terminal 4 and a new 33- gate terminal to replace Terminal 2. • Numerous improvements have been made to the security checkpoints throughout the airport, and 2009 should see the completion of Terminal 4' s Checkpoint C, which will expand from four to eight lanes. • The airport's innovative Cell Phone Waiting Lots enable drivers to wait in their vehicles, free of charge, rather than having to endlessly circle the airport before picking up arriving passengers. Lots are available east of Terminal 4 and west of the Terminal 2 parking structure. An electronic flight information display provides airline flight and arrival information, as well. • Free Wi- Fi service is available at all three terminals at Sky Harbor, on both sides of security, in retail areas and near the gates. • Looking further into the future, a new gateway to the airport will be created at 44th Street and Washington Street, with an automated train station linking to the 44th Street METRO light rail stop — operating similarly to the systems found in Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas and San Francisco airports. The initial phase has an expected completion date of 2013 Other Options Of course, Sky Harbor isn't the only option to reach the Phoenix metro area by air. Phoenix- Mesa Gateway Airport offers " Just Plane Easy" nonstop service to 15 destinations nationwide through Allegiant Airlines — many of which aren't served directly out of the heart of the city. This East Valley hub is also developing as an international aerospace center, with aircraft maintenance, modification, testing and pilot training facilities. Currently, more than 35 aviation companies operate at the airport, generating more than $ 251 million in annual economic activity. In addition to the construction of several new taxiways, a new airport master plan will serve as the guiding document for the growth of the airport, what type of facilities will be required, financial impacts of this growth and improvements and coordination with surrounding communities. In the Northwest Valley, Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, with more than 378,349 takeoffs and landings in 2007, ranks as the 22nd busiest of all U. S. airports and the busiest general aviation airport in the nation. And in the West Valley, Phoenix Goodyear Airport offers a wide variety of services to the pilots of private planes and corporate jets. Folks are taking notice of this small airport's outsized reputation — it was named the state's 2008 Airport of the Year by the Aeronautics Division of the Arizona Department of Transpor-tation for its excellence in community relations, airport management, airport maintenance activities, and innovative activities and programs. More than 100,000 passengers arrive and depart Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport each day. photoS: the arizona republic
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