Sky Harbor International (PHX)

The unique-named international airport of Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) saw a total passenger count of 41,885,104, making it the eighth busiest airport in the United States in 2005. On January 14, 2007, PHX opened its newest air traffic control tower that stands at 335 feet. The third tallest control tower in the world stands in the shadows of Atlanta’s and Munich’s structure.

PHX made plenty of news in late 2006 and early 2007, as it was the first airport in the U.S. to use a new security measure called the Backscatter X-ray technology. The technology is used to discover if a person are carrying a weapon on them by displaying a “nude” image of the travelers. The machine can essentially see through the clothes of the person passing through the machine, revealing only objects in the body. Many civil rights advocates are troubled that passengers might be uninformed this may be considered a breach on their privacy.

Being one of the 15 busiest airports in the world, PHX sees 1,498 aircraft depart and arrive on a daily basis. Fueled by the 108,200 passengers that come through PHX on a daily basis, the airport has a $72 million daily economic impact. For those passengers, 913 tons of air cargo is handled on average per day.

Located three miles from the central business district of Phoenix in the county of Maricopa in Arizona, PHX is a three terminal international airport that services 19 airlines at 136 gates. The newest airline to provide service to PHX is the Atlanta-based AirTran Airways. Service began in mid-February 2007. The airport has grown so quickly recently that the city of Phoenix is preparing Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona to become a secondary airfield for PHX.

History of Sky Harbor International

Sky Harbor has been operating under the same name prior to when the city of Phoenix bought the airport in 1935. In the 1950s PHX only serviced four airlines. Today it is a hub for US Airways, and is a major airport for Dallas, Texas-based Southwest Airlines. Terminal 1 was built in 1952, the airport administration destroyed the first terminal at PHX 1990. The other terminals were not renumbered, for the administration retired the original terminal’s number as if it was a famous athlete getting their number retired.

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