The Valley’s airports should be on the radar for federal funding as the demand for air service increases in coming years, U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell said.
Mitchell, R-Ariz., and U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., met with regional airport officials and toured Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on Monday. Costello serves as head of the Aviation Subcommittee in the House.
“The reason we wanted Chairman Costello to come out here was because of the growing demand nationwide for air travel,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell noted that Federal Aviation Administration officials believe that capacity throughout the country will need to be increased dramatically to handle an estimated 1 billion passengers by 2015. Those growing pains could be even more acute in the Valley because the growth rate here is twice the national average, he said.
“The FAA has already warned that Phoenix already is one of the eight metropolitan areas that will need significantly more capacity by 2025,” Mitchell said.