Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

MJLO

Lets talk about Sky Harbor

57 posts in this topic

Ok it's time to talk about the the airport. As you guys probabally know by now I work at Sky Harbor. It is the 5th busiest Airport in the country, and from everything that's going on, it'll probabally grow bigger than that.

America West is it's biggest Carrier, but they recently bought out USAirways, and after the merger is complete, the new company is going to supesize the hub they already have. Southwest is the next biggest carrier into the Airport, Occupying all of the south concourses on terminal 4.

There are three terminals 2, 3, and 4. The oringinal terminal, 1, is no longer used as a passenger terminal. I'm not sure if it's used at all. Terminal 2 was build in the 60's and it shows its age. I know they are currently updating the insides. But I have heard, that they may have other plans for it. Terminal three was completed in 1978, and has two concourses. North, and South. It houses the retail offices, and the airport offices. Terminal 4 is a monster completed in 1990, it just went thru a renovation. It hosts a few airlines, but is dominated by far by USAirways, and South west, there are 7 operating concourses, and they are in the process of building an 8th.

I'd love to hear what you guys can add about Sky Harbor. Terminal 4 is one of the most efficient and organized airport terminals i've ever seen designed. The new causeway, lobby outside of the councourses, is nothing short of a mall it's very nice. I want to know future plans, projected traffic. Will it continue to get bigger, and busier handling more and more passengers each year, or do you think the airport is near capacity. Will they have to more utilize Williams Gateway out in Mesa? Also I'm looking for aireal pictures of the terminals to show just how big they are. I'll post when I find them but feel free to preempt me on that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I've flown into or out of Sky Harbor at least six times on either Southwest, Continental or America West. The last time was to Houston, which used to be less than half the price of the direct flight from TUS.

I now almost exclusively fly out of Tucson. One reason being price increases. Phoenix flights seem to have gone up over the past year quite a bit, especially Southwest, where that "Internet Special" column is perpetually in "Unavailable." But also, it's the traffic. You can show up to Tucson's airport 30 minutes before your flight leaves and have no worries of missing it, regardless of the time of day or even year. That's unthinkable at Sky Harbor. Also, parking rates went up recently in the economy lot. They used to be $6/day, now they're $8, I believe, and they fill up during heavy travel times.

The only frustrating thing is that, when you take America West from TUS, they often route you through Phoenix, which means that you may as well have taken the shuttle up and just flown out of Sky Harbor. I always try to get routed through LAS when heading out, but that often means prop plane.

I hate flying though, so I'm not the best expert. I would much rather drive everywhere. The last flight I took before that Houston trip (I took the train back) was to San Francisco. This was on Thanksgiving Day, and it was very pleasant. I'll probably be flying somewhere for Labor Day, and will definitely be using Tucson instead of Phoenix, despite the typical $50-100 savings, which would be mostly spent on that damned shuttle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Colin, next time you get routed thru PHX look me up, that PHX to TUS is a busy one, and it's thru my concourse, you may find yourself with a very reasonbly priced meal inside the terminal. But I gotta say that route is so so busy, The flights to Tucson are almost always delayed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Colin, next time you get routed thru PHX look me up, that PHX to TUS is a busy one, and it's thru my concourse, you may find yourself with a very reasonbly priced meal inside the terminal. But I gotta say that route is so so busy, The flights to Tucson are almost always delayed!

Ya know, I've only had to do it twice, both times on that San Francisco trip.

Going there, the flight was just cancelled, and they routed me to LAX (fine with me).

Coming back, it was delayed for over an hour. While in the terminal, I really thought about approaching passers-by asking for a ride back to Tucson.

It's a dumb flight, and it's not just AWA, because United does that too, but not as much because they also have a TUS - LAX flight. I refuse to do that again though. It's just stupid. I'd rather just take a different airline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i can be of no help - don't fly and wilfully remain ignorant of things related to passenger air. spent plenty of time in airports, esp. hartsfield in atlanta, but i've done all the flying i'll ever do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is anyone in the know about future plans for Sky Harbor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm doing a comparison study. (for myself i'm kind of a nerd)

At what point, how many passengers will Sky Harbor be built out?

Right now it's right around 42 million passengers a year. How many more can it accomodate before it's at capacity? One of you has to know you all know everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, does an airport have a traffic capacity like a highway does?

I would think that it does, but then, just like they would widen the highway, they could expand the airport, which they're doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Yes Colin, but in Sky Harbors case, It's landlocked. Given that, There really is only so much time in a day for flights to take off and land. At this point a plane lands every 53 seconds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

here's an interesting factoid,

Sky Harbor's new Air Traffic control tower is over 300 ft tall. Thats taller than half the buildings downtown Phoenix. May actually be taller than Tucsons tallest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now it's right around 42 million passengers a year. How many more can it accomodate before it's at capacity? One of you has to know you all know everything.

I remember reading somewhere that they expect SKy Harbor to reach a maximum capacity of around 65 million in its current state. But I would hope they do some type of expansion before reaching that number.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shrek, Sky Harbor is constantly expanding, It's undergoing a somewhat major expansion right now. Do you guys think that it will be busier than DFW ever?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely. Phoenix Metro is growing faster than DFW. Plus, who goes to Dallas for a vacation??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I know what you're saying Colin, but when you're talking about 55million plus people you're talking less about tourists and more about Hub traffic. Since America West bought and changed it's name to USAirways, it really depends on how much traffic starts going thru it. With the new and improved airline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will probably be hard. DFW is a huge hub and now that they have lifted the rule that protected AA, Southwest will be flying from DFW starting in the next few years.

Currently SKy Harbor is the hub for the 2 profitable airlines, US Airways had the second highest profest in 2nd quarter, second to Southwest. IF this continues, we should be able to gain ground against Denver and Mccarren again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Can anyone point me in the direction where I can find earnings reports and rankings for the airlines? Is USAirways profitable because it's using the America West business model? I know it's not ranked second for customer satisfaction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i spent a week stranded in dallas (okay, terrell) in february, and all the local news could talk about was how a major carrier at DFW was about to jump ship. phoenix was said to be the likeliest contender to host the carrier - not just a terminal, but HQ. anyone know anything about this? i thought it was southwest, until i read the posts above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no idea, I can ask around. Since America West bought USAir, they have consolidated a great deal of their operations at PHX. It could be that, but the way you are talking it doesn't really sound like it.

I'll look into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont think the official rankings are out until the end of the FY, it was only reported in the 2nd Quarter profits that Southwest was 1, US Airways was 2, everyone else lost money.

And as for the airline HQ in Phoenix, there were talks of Southwest moving to Phoenix earlier because of the Lovefield Dallas lameness laws where American Airlines had basically a monopoly to fly out of Dallas Fort Worth and Southwest had to fly from Dallas from Lovefield and the rule dictated that flights outside of DFW can only fly to adjacent states (thus Southwest lost out big time). Southwest threatened to move its HQ from Dallas to Las Vegas or Phoenix (its 2 largest hubs). Dallas eventually succumbed and met their demands, allowing them to move in by like 2007 or 8.

I dont think there are talks of any further airline HQs in AZ. US Airways mentioned to Delta that they could merge but Delta refused.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe Great Lakes Air will move here. They fill that important Kingman - Prescott run, and Sky Harbor certainly needs more prop planes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Lakes are flies little prop planes out of PHX already. They do it off the tarmack of terminal 2. I kinda wondered a little about them. Are they based in AZ? I kind of wondered because of the name, I thought they would be out of the midwest region.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I was confused as well when I first heard of them. I guess they were based in the Midwest at some point, but now in Denver. They sure fly to some strange towns, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I debated on where to put this, the light rail thread or this one. But I choose this one because the article is much more airport related. Sky harbor has buses that run pretty regularly between terminals. But it has no trains that link the terminals and parking. For an airport it's size it should at least have an inter terminal train system. But now there's an article in the Republic that says light rail wont go into the airport. There will be a station near it. But then the terminal busses will then transport passengers to the terminals. They say the amount of people using the airport station on the LRT won't warrant having LRT traveling directly to the airport. It would be too expensive and the like. With as fast as Sky harbor has been expanding. ( They are adding a 33 gate terminal from what I've heard). You'd think that the leadership would be a little more insightful on the planning there. Especially considering that PHX contributes so much revenue to the city with actual cash. Not to mention the HUGE amount it adds to the economy residually. It very much seems that Arizona government doesn't plan for things. (I give you the freeway system which they are scrambling to upgrade.) I believe it was back in the 80's that they didn't plan for the growth that happened during the 90's and is happening now. Do you think that they have learned from the mistakes of planning. And are doing things differentluy now? With this I don't know. A tram system would benefit Sky harbor immensely. Even they didn't run LRT thru sky harbor, the could have atleast built a connector with a tram to the LRT. I dunno I'm annoyed with it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They say the amount of people using the airport station on the LRT won't warrant having LRT traveling directly to the airport. It would be too expensive and the like.

:rofl:

Not enough people?? Have any of these politicos actually been to Sky Harbor in the past, I don't know, ten years??

I never thought about it, but yeah, it's running on Washington to the north of the airport. I guess they want to provide service to the horse track and adult book stores in the area.

I think that, since Sky Harbor is destined to get its own, internal light rail system pretty soon, it's just going to connect to the stations on the east and west sides of the airport, similar to how they do it at SFO with BART, where you have to get off the train (even though that's the last stop on the line), go down a level, then get onto a more airport-like train that likes to talk to you and make doorbell noises.

Maybe they thought it would be annoying to riders from the East Valley to have to stop at terminal when they just want to keep going Downtown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huge story in the republic about airport expansion. I didn't post a link because the republic requires an online subscription to read it's stories. I think that's dumb. Anyway plans are to Demonlish the exisiting terminal 2 and replace it with at new 33 gate terminal. It would make most sense given Sky Harbors shape to build it in the style of terminal 4 which is not only a monster but also a cluster f$#&. Right now they are constructing an eighth concouse on T4 which will bring it to something like 95 gates. To me 33 gates would be small maybe good enough in the short term but really the best way to go would be to make it so that it can expand to the same size as T4. Plans also call for a rail line to connect the central terminals of the airport to the ansilary parking structures and the big off site car rental facility. I would also connect them to the Valley LRT. Which Is outstanding, considering that for now the LRT is going to stop near the airport, but then passengers will have to rely on the big green buses to take them to the terminals. They also want to straighten out Sky Harbor Blvd. As it is right now it's really impractical and jacked up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.