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February 2022

Phoenix Airport Museum Aviator Spotlight: Lincoln J. Ragsdale

The latest Phoenix Airport Museum pop-up exhibit highlights one of Arizona’s prominent historical figures, Tuskegee Airman Lincoln J. Ragsdale (1926–1995). Throughout his life of service and activism, Ragsdale was a notable aviator, entrepreneur and civil rights leader in Phoenix.

During World War II, Ragsdale became one of the first African American fighter pilots – a Tuskegee Airman – and was commissioned as second lieutenant by 1945. After the war, he continued his military career in an integrated gunnery unit and was one of the first black officers stationed at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix.

In the 1950s, Ragsdale became a community leader who advocated for civil rights. He was instrumental in various reform efforts in Phoenix, including the desegregation of schools and neighborhoods. When Phoenix was segregated, Ragsdale and his family moved into an all-white neighborhood and became a local symbol of resistance to housing discrimination.

Amongst his military and social justice achievements, Ragsdale had multiple business ventures and even became Arizona’s first black funeral-home owner. He also continued in aviation as a civilian pilot, flying his private plane out of Sky Harbor Airport for nearly four decades. In honor of his advocacy for civil aviation at the Airport, Sky Harbor’s executive Terminal was renamed the Lincoln J. Ragsdale Executive Terminal in 1995.

To learn more about Lincoln J Ragsdale, visit the Phoenix Airport Museum pop-up exhibit at Terminal 4, level 3 near the central escalator wells. In addition to biographical information, the exhibition also includes images and objects from his aviator career, including his leather flight helmet and dress uniform.

Job Fairs Will Be Held Monthly

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will be hosting monthly job fairs, which are currently scheduled through May of this year. Those looking for work will have opportunities to meet with representatives from airport businesses to discuss and apply for open positions.

Upcoming job fairs have been scheduled for March 1, April 5, and May 3 and will take place at the 44th Street PHX Sky Train® Station located at 200 S. 44th St. (44th and Washington streets.)

Check out our Job Fair page for the latest information and updates.

PHX celebrates 40 years with Southwest Airlines, Airline Wins Notable Award

Jan. 31, 2022 Phoenix Sky Harbor marked 40 years of service with Southwest Airlines. On the last day of January in 1982, the airline launched service to not only Phoenix, but San Diego and Las Vegas as well. According to the airline, Phoenix has become a top focus city over the past 40 years. Eight new gates, occupied by Southwest, are set to open in Terminal 4 this year.

“Since touching down at Sky Harbor in 1982, we’ve been incredibly grateful for the support from the Phoenix community. Our growth during the last four decades is a testament to our customers and our growing Phoenix-area workforce,” said Lexi Muller, Southwest Airlines Outreach Lead for Arizona. “We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the City of Phoenix as we continue serving our customers with the flights to the destinations they want to visit.”

The airline also recently won Cranky Flier’s “Butterfly Effect Award”. The website awarded Southwest for their move into Hawai’i from both PHX and LAS. View the award ceremony here.

See award nominations here

Reach Brand New Destinations from PHX

Sun Country began twice weekly service to Rochester, Minn. on Feb. 4. Rochester is a new market for Phoenix.

Spirit has started daily direct service from Phoenix to Las Vegas. They are the fourth carrier to serve fly direct to Las Vegas.

Allegiant will start flying direct twice weekly to Knoxville on Feb. 16. Knoxville is a new market for Phoenix.

For those looking to visit Canada, WestJet has restarted service to Regina, Canada.

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

United Flight Academy Opens at GYR

Exciting things are happening at Phoenix Goodyear Airport as the airport recently welcomed the inaugural pilot class to the United Aviate Academy. On Jan. 27, an event was held at Phoenix Goodyear Airport featuring United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and United President Brett Hart. They were joined by Federal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Brad Mims, Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko, U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Goodyear Mayor Joe Pizzillo to debut the United Airlines flight training school. 


The 340,000 square-foot United Aviate Academy facility at Phoenix Goodyear Airport includes world-class features such as: Leasing a fleet of late-model Cirrus SR-20 series single-engine aircraft, which feature advanced safety characteristics; nearly 50,000 square feet of office space; multiple aircraft hangars; dormitory rooms for student housing with ample room for expansion; proximity to many auxiliary airfields in the Phoenix area; and favorable weather for year-round flight training.

The United Aviate Academy’s inaugural class of students is 80% women or people of color and is part of the airline’s commitment to expand access to flight training. Phoenix Goodyear Airport has a long tradition of excellence in aviation flight training, and this new academy will also provide a boost to the airport and the West Valley by bringing in additional jobs.

Sky Valet Parking Expands at Phoenix Sky Harbor

Travelers familiar with America’s Friendliest Airport® know that valet parking has been available at the Terminal 4 garage, but Sky Valet has expanded its service to Terminal 3.

Terminal 3 customers can feel like the big cheese when dropping off their car with a friendly valet and walking directly to their gate. Staffed around the clock seven days a week, Sky Valet attendants are ready for you when you reserve your valet stay in advance, and they will track your flight and be ready with your car when you return.

For a very limited time, customers can get the introductory rate of $27 per day for the Terminal 3 Sky Valet service, and when they book using their loyalty program account, they automatically earn double loyalty points. Don’t wait; these offers end Feb. 28, 2022.

Also, customers can save big (up to 25%) when booking their airport parking online for visits that include a Friday or Saturday.

If you're not in the loyalty program, simply register for an account before you make your next reservation. There's no fee to enroll and you immediately start earning points for your parking.

Reservations for valet parking are strongly encouraged. Visit our Parking page to get started.

Birdwatcher’s Report

Who doesn’t love a stunning sunrise photo? This was taken on Feb. 4. It is looking west at the inversion layers being illuminated by the rising sun to the east.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Vescio Photography.