A Growth Plan for the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
"The Phoenix City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a 20-year blueprint for improvements to Sky Harbor International Airport, designed to make sure the airport can keep up with passenger and cargo demands that are expected to double by 2039," reports Melissa Yeager.
"The plan is a suggested road map for improvements, not a green light for any individual projects. It does not authorize funding. The city council will still have to approve each step of the plan, which is projected to cost $5.7 billion during the 20-year period," explains Yeager of the scope of the federal mandated plan.
Faced with the prospect of rapid growth in passenger and cargo volumes, the footprint of Sky Harbor runs into serious geographic limitations, like train tracks, roadways, and the Salt River. The airport owns significant parcels of land beyond the railroad tracks located to the north of the airport, so "one of the key parts of the 20-year plan is to 'trench' the railroad tracks — lower them below ground level — to create access to that land. The airport could then connect the land north of the tracks to its main campus by building taxiways over the tracks," according to Yeager.