Phoenix Sky Harbor
International Airport


Sky Harbor at Night

Phoenix is one of 21 areas in the United States where the FAA is implementing or planning to implement its Metroplex program. Metroplex looks at the entire airspace and all airports that use the airspace, and examines how technology can be implemented to improve safety, efficiency, capacity, and environmental impacts. The PHX Metroplex project will analyze aircraft arrival and departure procedures at a number of airports in a 200 mile radius of Phoenix and specifically includes: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA), Scottsdale Airport (SDL), Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), and Tucson International Airport (TUS). The project may involve changes in aircraft flight paths and/or altitudes in certain areas.

On Nov. 4, 2016, at the urging of the City of Phoenix, both Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA) and American Association of Airport Executives joined the City and other valley airports in requesting a comment period extension for the FAA’s draft update of the Community Involvement for Airport Planning Advisory Circular. See the letter.

On Nov. 2, 2016, the Airport Managers of Arizona sent a letter to the FAA asking for a comment period extension for the FAA’s draft update  of the Community Involvement for Airport Planning Advisory Circular. This is an important policy update affecting Metroplex and other FAA initiatives that impact communities.

On Aug. 18, 2016, the FAA sent a letter responding to the Airport Managers of Arizona letter, and confirmed that the Phoenix Metroplex project has been suspended until the end of this year, and further, committed to community outreach and engagement once the project is reinitiated. 

On June 15, 2016, the Airport Managers of Arizona sent a letter to the FAA asking for a response or commitment to stop designing new routes until community meetings have been held; for a public involvement plan for the Phoenix Metroplex EA; and to utilize alternative noise and emission impact metrics.

On Jan. 20, 2016, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority received a letter from the FAA in response concerns and questions raised regarding the Authority's inclusion in the Phoenix Metroplex planning process. 

On Dec. 24, 2015, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns received a letter from the FAA responding to the League’s letter (of October 12, 2015) strongly encouraging the FAA Metroplex project engagement and inclusion of local communities and municipal leadership.  The FAA’s response letter acknowledges the need for better community coordination and specifically notes a delay of the Metroplex project so that additional outreach measures can be developed.

On Dec. 3, 2015, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority sent a letter to the FAA in response to a meeting held between the FAA and the contracted Phoenix-Mesa Gateway tower manager. This meeting was to discuss modifications to the Gateway northbound and southbound departures related to the Metroplex process. The letter to the FAA and meeting minutes are included.

On Oct. 29, 2015, the city met with the airlines and the FAA at Sky Harbor to request any voluntary measures that could be taken to give the community relief from aircraft noise. That meeting was followed up by a letter from the city confirming in writing what was asked in the meeting see 11-2 City letter.  On Nov. 25, the airlines responded with a letter back to the City see 11-25 airline letter. On Dec. 10, the City responded and asked again for voluntary measures see 11-25 airline letter 

On Oct. 12, 2015, the League of Cities sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

On July 22, 2015 the directors of Arizona airports located within the FAA’s Phoenix Metroplex Project area sent this letter to the FAA following up on requests that were made in a previous letter sent to the FAA April 23, 2015.

On May 8, 2015 the FAA sent an email in response to the Aviation Department's comments.

On April 27, 2015 the City of Phoenix Aviation Department submitted a detailed response and comments on the PHX Metroplex project to the FAA, along with information and comments the department had collected from the public since September 2014.

Numerous other agencies and jurisdictions also submitted comments on the PHX Metroplex project to the FAA:

On April 23, 2015 nine Arizona airport directors sent this letter to the FAA with formal requests regarding the Phoenix Metroplex Project.

On March 27, 2015, the FAA sent two letters (Letter 1 and Letter 2) to the Phoenix Aviation Department notifying the City of Phoenix of this process. The FAA also placed this ad in the Arizona Republic. 

On Jan. 23, 2015, the Phoenix Aviation Department sent a letter to the FAA formally requesting that the FAA conduct community outreach in preparation for its Metroplex study.

Other Metroplex Cities

On Sept. 2, 2016, the FAA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact and Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD) for the Southern California Metroplex (SoCal Metroplex) Project, which enables the agency to move forward with replacing existing conventional air traffic control procedures with new satellite-based flight procedures (RNAV). The FONSI/ROD and the final Environmental Assessment can be accessed on the SoCal Metroplex Environmental Assessment website.

Staff is closely tracking the FAA's Metroplex actions in Northern California where wide community opposition to proposed RNAV routes appears to have caused the FAA's re-evaluation of routes and community impacts.

Additional FAA Information

Additional information about the Metroplex process on the FAA website.

Performance Based Navigation: Read about Performance Based Navigation (PBN) on the FAA website here.

Metroplex Contact Information