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May 2023

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Reminds Memorial Day Travelers to Plan Ahead

The summer travel season begins with the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. As the number of people traveling continues to increase and people continue to focus on leisure travel, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is expecting robust summer travel passenger volume.

As the airport has seen the busiest first quarter in its history, the key to ensure your summer getaway is a success is to plan ahead. Here are a few tips from America’s Friendliest Airport® to ensure summer travel does not leave you overheated:

  • Plan ahead for parking. If you plan to park at the airport, reserve your parking in advance. Book your parking at
  • Packing your bags. Know what can and cannot go in a carry-on bag. Prohibited items result in checkpoint delays and in some cases, fines. Unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag or your checked bag? Download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature that allows you to type in the item to find out if it can fly or visit
  • Give yourself extra time. Arrive early and check security wait times online. If you are traveling domestically, arrive two hours before your flight, three hours if you are traveling internationally. Travelers can also check current TSA security checkpoint wait times on and on the flight information screens in the Airport once they arrive.
  • Reduce your time in the security checkpoint line. Our PHX RESERVE program allows you to save your space and reduce the wait. Make a reservation up to six days before your flight departs. You’ll be provided with a time to enter a designated checkpoint where you’ll begin the standard security process. This program is open to travelers of any airline. Learn more.

For more helpful tips to navigate the airport this summer, please visit our Travel Tips page.

2023 Begins with Record-Breaking Passenger Traffic

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport had a record-setting March with more than 4.6 million passengers traveling through the airport. The March passenger traffic numbers are up 8.2% from the prior year and 2% higher than pre-pandemic passenger numbers from March 2019.

With the record month of March, coupled with the busiest day ever in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport history following Super Bowl and the Waste Management Phoenix Open weekend, the first quarter of 2023 is the busiest first quarter in the airport’s history.

New Flights Taking Off This Summer and New International Destinations Arrive This Fall

Frontier Airlines launched seasonal nonstop service from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Houston and Tampa. Daily flights between Phoenix and Tampa International Airport began May 11. Service to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport will start June 18 and run three times a week.

Canada’s Flair Airlines announced they will begin operations from Phoenix Sky Harbor starting on Oct. 30. Flair will be offering flights from Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton.

To see a list of all the places you can fly from PHX, visit our Where We Fly page.

Parking at Sky Harbor Has Never Been Easier

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is where you will find official on-site parking, and with that an online reservation system giving you access to parking options across the airport.

Book your parking reservation for terminal parking garages, economy lots, and the new 24th Street Express Pay Parking. All PHX parking lots are easily accessible to the PHX Sky Train®, which means they are only minutes away from each terminal.

With Memorial Day kicking off the summer travel period, now is the time to make your parking reservations. While you’re checking things off your vacation checklist, register for our Loyalty Program and start earning points for free parking on your next trip. It’s free to enroll!

The Next Big Thing: Taxiway U

There’s a saying in aviation circles that an airport is a never-ending construction zone, and that applies to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The list of prominent projects that have been completed at PHX within the past year alone include the new eight-gate concourse in Terminal 4, and the completion of the PHX Sky Train® with its two new stations.

We are always planning ahead, and the next big thing on our roadmap to accommodate future demand is the design and construction of a new taxiway on the west end of the airport connecting the north and south runways.

Near-Term Infrastructure Plan


Q: What is a taxiway and why is it needed?
A: A taxiway is a strip of pavement that allows for aircraft to transit to different parts of the airport. Currently, the only taxiways at PHX are on the east end and a west taxiway will allow for more efficient movement.

Q: What must be done to construct this taxiway?
A: The biggest challenges are making substantial roadway modifications, including realigning Sky Harbor Boulevard and Buckeye Road, and moving the current cargo operations to make room for the new taxiway.

Q: How much will it cost?
A: It is estimated to cost $260 million.

Q: How will it be paid for?
A: Approximately $194 million is anticipated to come from monies set aside by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress in 2021 and approved by the Phoenix City Council in April 2022, with the balance being paid from Passenger Facility Charges and airport revenues.

Q: When will construction begin?
A: We are still in the preliminary design phase. Construction is not expected to begin until 2024.

Check back for updates on this and related construction projects!

PHX Director Honored as Executive of the Year

A big congratulations to our Director of Aviation Services Chad Makovsky, C.M. He has been honored as the Arizona Airports Association (AzAA) Executive of the Year.

Chad was recognized for his strong support of AzAA and his leadership within the aviation industry. With more than 32 years of industry experience, Chad has made substantial contributions to aviation. Under his visionary leadership at PHX, the Airport has embarked upon many exciting initiatives such as the Roadmap to Net Carbon Zero, which outlines the Airport’s path to reach net-zero carbon emissions nearly a decade ahead of global and industry goals.

Pictured from left: AzAA Past President Matthew Smith, City of Phoenix Director of Aviation Services Chad Makovsky and Jeff Flemming.

PHX is Experience Obsessed

In April, Uber presented Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with the Experience Obsessed Award. The award was bestowed to the Aviation Department Ground Transportation team for their diligence in ensuring a good customer experience for passengers and for Uber drivers.

Over the past year, the airport has worked with Uber on curb space redesign to ensure sufficient space for rideshare to operate. This enhancement will help lower levels of congestion for rideshare pick-ups and improves customer service. Additionally, the Airport offers an industry-leading staging area with amenities such as a dining area, restrooms, and entertainment.

New Airport Museum Display Allows Rare Glimpse into a Private Collection of Arizona Music History

America’s Friendliest Airport® is excited to welcome a new Phoenix Airport Museum exhibit in Terminal 3 that will allow passengers a rare glimpse into the private collection of Arizona’s legendary concert promoter and music-icon Danny Zelisko.

For nearly 50 years, concert promoter Danny Zelisko has been lighting up Valley of the Sun stages with top recording stars. Zelisko had a passion for music and an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. His drive and knack for being in the right place at the right time allowed him to break into the concert promoting business.

Zelisko went on to become Arizona’s premier concert promoter producing hundreds of shows each year. This exhibition, located in Terminal 3, Level 4 in the arrival plaza area, presents a sampling of Danny Zelisko’s personal collection of signed photographs, concert posters and guitars from entertainers that he brought to Arizona. It is testament to Zelisko’s decades long career and the connections and friendships he made along the way.

Arizona music lovers have Zelisko to thank for the numerous entertainers he brought to Valley stages. Today, he continues his legacy promoting top name acts through his company Danny Zelisko Presents.

NCAA Final Four Countdown Clock Unveiling

Phoenix Sky Harbor will again have the privilege of welcoming many new visitors coming to cheer on their team. The airport has recently welcomed travelers for large-scale sporting events such as the Super Bowl and PGA Tour, events  which contributed not only to the busiest day ever at Sky Harbor but the busiest year ever through the first three months. The Final Four® tournament will feature three games played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. More than 75,000 fans are expected for each game. This will be the second time Sky Harbor has hosted the event, the first one being in 2017. Phoenix will also host the NCAA® Women’s Final Four in 2026.

Volunteer Appreciation Week Celebrates the Pride of PHX

We started out the month of May with a week dedicated to our volunteers. The Volunteer Appreciation Week focused on showing appreciation to our Navigators, Navigator Buddies and volunteer chaplains who are such an integral part of America’s Friendliest Airport®. We couldn’t do it without them.

Many of our leadership team volunteered alongside them in the terminals or attended briefings to say thanks, including our Director of Aviation Services Chad Makovsky (pictured above) and Assistant Aviation Director Sarah Demory (pictured at left).

Volunteers, on behalf of all of Sky Harbor, thank you for all you do!  See the fun in a quick video of the week’s festivities.

Looking for a New Career? Come Land with Us at PHX

Work with us! Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the country, and we have several exciting opportunities.

The City of Phoenix Aviation Department has 13 divisions that have an array of positions. Visit to see the latest openings with the city.

Additionally, each month, we host a PHX Job Fair with our airport partners. Join us on Tuesday, June 6 for our next PHX Job Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 44th Street PHX Sky Train® Station located at 44th and Washington streets. The station is easily accessible by bus and Valley Metro Rail and a transit pass will be offered to attendees. Parking is also available.

No preregistration is required to attend.

Contractors, vendors and airlines that serve America’s Friendliest Airport® are trying to fill hundreds of available positions from cooks and baristas to security officers and drivers, and everything in between. Managers, staff members, part-time and fulltime…if you want a job, we have a gig for you!

To learn more and to see positions being recruited by the airport and their partners, visit our job fair page, which is updated monthly before each job fair. Check back often.

PHX Team Awarded Two Excellence Awards from City of Phoenix

Each year, the City of Phoenix and the City Manager host a high-profile Employee Excellence Award program to recognize employees for exceptional work performance and efforts related to their jobs. The program also allows the city to demonstrate to the public the high levels of achievement in their local government. This year, the Aviation Department was honored with two of these awards.

The Aviation Department’s Design and Construction Services Division had two employees recognized for their contributions to a milestone project in the city before joining the airport. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) plans to make a $12 billion investment into a new manufacturing campus in Phoenix that will result in approximately 1,900 new full-time jobs over a five- year period. City staff from several departments contributed to the success in bringing TSMC and a host of supplier companies to Phoenix. Special Projects Administrator Mario Brown and Civil Engineer III Scott Clark were recognized for their key roles in the project’s infrastructure. Production is scheduled to start in 2024.

The second award went to one of our tremendous Aviation Department dispatchers. The dispatchers work around the clock to provide exceptional customer service to our passengers, work alongside employees to communicate information to various areas of airport operations, and more.

Our phone lines are open 24/7, seven days a week so when you need assistance, our dispatchers are just one call away. They are the eyes, ears, and voices that keep our airport operations running smoothly.

One of our dispatchers, Kerri received a phone call from a suicidal person who was attempting to jump into traffic. Kerri was able to get the caller to reconsider their plan and use tactical questioning techniques in order to extract information on their location at the airport.

She had police dispatched and on scene while maintaining the crucial conversation with the person on the phone. As a result of her professionalism, the caller was transported by police to receive treatment.

On-The-FLY Award

Alexander I. spends his days interacting with passengers as an Airport Operations Assistant. He readily jumps in to help passengers like he did when he noticed a passenger struggling with large and awkward luggage upon his return home from a ski trip.

After assisting the customer to the opposite side of the terminal, he returned to his post and noticed a laptop left where the gentleman had been sitting. Alexander secured the computer and with no identity for the man, took it to Lost and Found and shared the information with his counterpart Hussain K.

The man returned a short time later. He shares, “Upon arriving home, I was panic struck to discover my loss. I immediately returned to the airport, and my despair was quickly realized by Hussain, who asked if he could help.”

Hussain was able to quickly reunite the man with his laptop. The man said he wanted to tip the men, to which Hussain refused stating “just doing my job sir.”

To say thank you to Alexander and Hussain, our Customer Service team presented them with an On the FLY team (F = Friendly. L = Let me help. Y = You) award.

Do you have a story about a Sky Harbor employee and a random act of awesome? Send details to us at so we can recognize him or her.

Pictured from left: Hussain K. and Alexander I.

Extended AZ Travel ID Deadline Is 24 Months Away

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended the deadline for domestic airline travelers to have a federally compliant form of ID. Beginning in May 2025, you will need a federally compliant credential -- like the Arizona Travel ID -- to get past TSA checkpoints at airports for domestic flights. Without the Arizona Travel ID or other form of federally compliant identification such as a valid U.S. Passport, fliers risk missing an airline flight because the standard driver license will not be accepted at TSA checkpoints.

This credential is distinguished by a star in the upper right corner and is available to Arizona residents as a driver license or identification card.

You can walk in to an Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office for this service or reduce your wait time by scheduling an appointment at

Because the Arizona Travel ID is compliant with the federal standards, you will need to provide extra documentation. This includes:

  • Proof of identity: a birth certificate or US passport
  • Social Security Number: just the number, not the card
  • Two documents proving Arizona residency: rental or bank statements, credit card or cell phone bills in your name with your current Arizona address, etc.

More information, and a full list of qualifying documents are available at

Celebrate Museum Month with Us!

May is Museum Month and we’re celebrating our very own Phoenix Airport Museum with free postcards at the Terminal 4 gallery.

Did you know that art at Sky Harbor has been a tradition since the 1960s? Check out these other fun facts:

  • The museum’s first exhibition featured children’s artwork about dental hygiene.
  • The Phoenix Airport Museum has more than 40 art and exhibition display areas at Sky Harbor’s Terminals, Rental Car Center and PHX Sky Train® Stations as well as Deer Valley and Goodyear Airports.
  • There are more than 1,000 artworks in the Museum’s collection. This includes artist-designed floors, murals and ceilings as well as paintings, ceramics, photography and other portable works. Like many museums, about 10% of the collection is on display at a given time.
  • Over the past 35 years, the Phoenix Airport Museum has curated more than 500 themed exhibitions highlighting Arizona’s art and culture.
  • Some of the past exhibitions have included artsy motorcycles, hand-painted skateboards, vintage flight attendant uniforms and handmade instruments.
  • Because Sky Harbor is the front door to our city and state, the Phoenix Airport Museum’s art and exhibitions present visitors with the inexhaustible variety of artistic talent and cultural resources Arizona has to offer.
  • Currently, there are 25 exhibitions on view throughout the entire Airport system.

The Phoenix Airport Museum is free and open 24/7. You do not need a plane ticket to visit as most exhibitions and art are pre-security. Come on by, ride the PHX Sky Train® and view art inside, outside, above and below.

Find out more and download Museum Guides.


Birdwatcher’s Report

A new livery was spotted flying through PHX this month. It is Southwest’s “Imua One” Boeing 737 MAX 8. Southwest introduced this livery on April 28 in celebration of the first interisland flight within Hawaii. The design on the plane includes eight elements that are represented in Hawaiian culture. The term imua means to go forward with strength, courage, and strong spirit, and Southwest views it as a representation of teamwork and their partnership with the Hawaiian Islands.

Photo courtesy Trevor Propst