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Phoenix Sky Harbor
International Airport

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Final Environmental Assessment
Terminal 3 South Concourse Reconstruction Project

Sky Harbor at Night

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process consists of an evaluation of relevant environmental effects of a federal project or action undertaking, including a series of pertinent alternatives. The NEPA process begins when an agency develops a proposal to address a need to take an action. Once a determination of whether or not the proposed action is covered under NEPA is made, there are three levels of analysis that a federal agency may undertake to comply with the law. These three levels include: preparation of a Categorical Exclusion (CE), preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI); or preparation and drafting of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The NEPA process addresses impacts of federal actions on the human environment, including noise, socioeconomic, land uses, air and water quality. Depending upon the context and potential impacts, NEPA procedures can differ.

The City of Phoenix Aviation Department proposed the reconstruction of the Terminal 3 South Concourse (the Proposed Action).  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requested that the City of Phoenix prepare an EA to identify the probable environmental effects of the Proposed Action per NEPA.  An overview of the Proposed Action and the contents of an EA are summarized and links to the Final EA documents are provided below.

Overview of the Proposed Action

The Aviation Department plans to close Terminal 2, which has reached the end of its service life, and accommodate the displaced activity elsewhere in the terminal core.  Therefore, the purpose of the Proposed Action is to provide aircraft gates and holdroom facilities to replace those in Terminal 2, which will be closed. The Terminal 3 South Concourse would be reconstructed to include modern building systems, building functionality, and passenger amenities that offer a level of passenger comfort and convenience similar to that offered in other areas within Terminal 3 as well as within Terminal 4. Under the completion of the Proposed Action, Terminal 3 would accommodate the activity of airlines located in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. The Proposed Action would allow for the safe and efficient operation of the airfield and would also allow for incremental increases in aircraft gates, if needed to accommodate future increases in passengers at the Airport.

The Proposed Action includes the reconstruction of the Terminal 3 South Concourse as a new 2-level, 16-gate concourse in an east-west linear configuration to replace the 16 gates available between the Terminal 2 Concourse and the existing Terminal 3 South Concourse (i.e., no increase in the number of gates).  To support reconstruction of the Terminal 3 South Concourse, the Proposed Action also includes reconfiguration of the in-ground fuel supply system, utilities, and service roads; reconstruction of apron pavement; replacement in-kind of nine displaced remain overnight (RON) aircraft parking positions; installation of a new cooling tower; closure of the Terminal 2 processor building from the concourse and demolition of the Terminal 2 concourse with no physical effects to the Terminal 2 processor building; and an upgrade of Taxiway D east of Terminal 2.  The implementation of the Proposed Action would not result in an increase in the number of aircraft operations beyond that currently forecast by the FAA, nor would it result in any changes in the use of the runways at the Airport or in aircraft flight tracks to and from the Airport. 


Contents of the Environmental Assessment

FAA Order 1050.1F (Environmental Impact: Policies and Procedures) and Order 5050.4B (National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Instructions for Airport Actions) require that the EA address: 1) the purpose of, and need for, the project; 2) alternatives to the project; 3) the affected environment; and 4) the consequences on the environment from the proposed project. When addressing environmental features, the EA is required to examine the following issues:

  • Air Quality
  • Biological Resources
  • Climate
  • Coastal Resources
  • Department of Transportation Act: Section 4(f)
  • Farmlands
  • Hazardous Materials, Pollution Prevention, and Solid Waste
  • Historical, Architectural, Archeological, and Cultural Resources
  • Land Use
  • Natural Resources and Energy Supply
  • Noise and Noise-Compatible Land Use
  • Socioeconomic Impacts, Environmental Justice, and Children's Environmental Health and Safety Risks
  • Visual Effects
  • Water Resources


Final EA and Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

The FAA has announced that it has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Record of Decision (ROD) based upon results of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared in December 2016.

A copy of the Final EA and FONSI are available for download from this website as well as at the following locations:

  • Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
  • Harmon Branch Library, 1325 South 5th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85003 
  • Saguaro Branch Library, 2808 North 46th Street, Phoenix, Arizona, 85008
  • Federal Aviation Administration, Western-Pacific Region, Phoenix Airports District Office, 3800 N Central Ave, Suite 1025, 10th Floor Phoenix, Arizona, 85012
  • Federal Aviation Administration, Western-Pacific Region, Office of the Airports Division 15000 Aviation Boulevard, Room 3012, Hawthorne, California 90261
  • City of Phoenix Aviation Department, Aviation Office, 500 South 24th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85034

Final EA Documents: