The Phoenix City Council on Tuesday approved a proposal to move a people mover, a new terminal and a massive makeover of existing facilities at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport off the drawing board and into action.
The $2.9 billion first phase of the long-term development proposal for the Valley’s primary airport will take 10 years to complete and will be funded from “a myriad of airport revenue sources, not from taxes,” said Paul Blue, assistant aviation director.
Those sources include airlines, concessions, land lease fees, passengers fees, parking fees and rental car fees, Blue said.
But don’t look for anybody to start ripping things up anytime soon. The approvals mean airport officials can begin final designs and contract procurement procedures, Blue said.
The $2.9 billion will buy Sky Harbor a much-needed new 33-gate west terminal to replace the old and too-small Terminal 2, the first leg of an overhead people mover that will reduce road congestion and the first half of a 20-year plan for expanding and rehabilitating existing facilities from taxiways to terminal amenities, Blue said.
The starter segment of the people mover, an overhead train that will run parallel to the road and not interfere with existing traffic lanes, will connect the heavily used Terminal 4 with the East Economy parking lot and a new check-in facility at 44th and Washington streets, he said. The intent of the 44th Street extension is to provide a place to drop off or pick up passengers while avoiding airport roadway congestion.
The starter segment is expected to be completed in 2012 or 2013, Blue said.
Sky Harbor officials hope eventually to connect the people mover to all the terminals, parking lots and the rental car facility.
While the trains are far along the design phase, the new terminal is not. Other than the fact that Terminal 2 will get razed and the new terminal built in the general area, Sky Harbor has not yet come up with a final design for the structure, or even figured out exactly where on the site it will be placed. Officials hope to have that determined by 2010 and begin physical construction of the new terminal in 2013, Blue said.