A Look At Phoenix Sky Harbor’s Biggest Updates In 2022

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the 13th busiest in the US, has had some changes over the year. The airport is set to have more upgrades in the future as Phoenix continues to grow and air travel demand steadily returns.

On the heels of its terminal modernization project, Sky Harbor can now accommodate more passengers and aircraft than ever before. Approximately 1,200 aircraft and more than 125,000 passengers arrived and departed from the airport before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Increasing traffic flow

Sky Harbor, which calls itself “America’s Friendliest Airport,” announced last year that a new taxiway would be built to support traffic passing through more seamlessly. Estimated to cost $260 million, the 2,000-foot taxiway will join the north and south airfields on the west end of the airport, allowing for better aircraft flow for airfield operations, according to the airport.


Approximately $194 million is anticipated to be funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the remaining balance is expected to be paid from passenger facility charges and other airport revenues. Officials have begun designing the project, and construction is scheduled to start this year. According to AZCentral, airport staff estimate construction would continue through at least 2026.

Rendering of new taxiway to be built at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Photo: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego spoke about the new taxiway.

“This airfield project is another step in connecting Phoenix to the world. As one of the first projects for the city identified for delivery under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this new taxiway will reduce aircraft taxi time, improve utilization of all runways, and add capacity for our airline partners. Infrastructure investments like this make our city even more attractive to the global aviation industry including travelers using Sky Harbor.” – Kate Gallego, Phoenix Mayor

Terminal 4 gets bigger

Three miles east of Downtown Phoenix, Sky Harbor has two terminals on its 3,400 acres. After recently completing renovations on Terminal 3, the airport turned its attention to Terminal 4, which houses its two largest operators: American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

In June 2022, Sky Harbor opened a new eight-gate concourse to Terminal 4, solely occupied by Southwest, which already operates out of three other concourses on the south side of the terminal. According to the airport, the 275,000 square foot space features a variety of customer amenities, including access to charging stations in every seat, an animal relief area, a family restroom, a nursing room, and hearing loop connectivity which will allow those with hearing devices to connect to the PA system.

Southwest Airlines new concourse at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Photo: Channing Reid

Inclusion of art

The concourse also has a wide range of art displays, as Sky Harbor reportedly has one of the country’s most extensive Airport Museum Programs. The walkway to the concourse consists of an immersive terrazzo floor and large airplane window-shaped terrazzo wall pieces called “Phoenix Lights, Phoenix Rising,” designed by artist Susan Logoreci.

With aerial views of the Phoenix landscape depicted, the airport said the art installation at the concourse provides travelers an opportunity to pause and enjoy something special before or after their flight.

Also in 2022, Sky Harbor made history, becoming the first airport to offer self-driving car service. The welcomed passenger amenity comes just in time as the airport is preparing to see an influx of passengers, with Super Bowl LVII taking place next month.

Source: AZ Central

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