Phoenix completes T3 upgrade

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Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego was among the local dignitaries who gathered on January 28, 2020, to dedicate Phoenix Sky Harbor’s new John S McCain III Terminal 3 to the late US senator.

The terminal, which originally opened in 1979, has undergone an extensive modernization. In early February, the final stage of the modernization will be complete when the newly renovated north concourse opens.

“This is a great day for Phoenix,” said Mayor Gallego. “We dedicated Terminal 3 to one of our nation’s greatest public servants – John McCain. We also marked the completion of a multi-year modernization project at the airport. The new concourse will be home to local restaurants, stunning art, a nursing room, and increased energy efficiency standards. This is another important investment in our state’s number one economic driver.”

Cindy McCain also attended the unveiling of her husband’s plaque, which will be permanently installed on Level 1 of the terminal bearing his name.

The north concourse features 10 airline gates and all-new shops, restaurants and customer amenities such as an animal relief area, a nursing room, a family restroom, hearing loop connectivity in the gate areas, and access to power from every seat.

New restaurants include Ajo Al’s, Scramble and The Phoenix Beer Company. These restaurants represent local favorites and will give visitors to the airport a taste of what the area has to offer. New shops include Discover Arizona with Tech-on-the-Go/House of Marley and Stellar News + Market with Starbucks.

Like the previous two components of the Terminal 3 Modernization Program, the north concourse offers incredible views of Phoenix’s desert landscape, including Camelback Mountain, and plenty of natural light.

Travelers will also find a public art installation in the north connector bridge. The piece, titled Phoenix Light Threshold, is designed by James Carpenter and features 750 reflective blue and gold aluminum cells that form a light-gathering beehive along the west wall of the bridge.

The north concourse will welcome the first arriving flights on February 3, 2020. The first departures from the newly renovated concourse will begin the following day. All airlines will be relocated from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 by February 6.

With the completion of the Terminal 3 Modernization Program, Terminal 2 will close. Terminal 3 will serve Air Canada, Alaska, Boutique Air, Contour Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Sun Country and United.

The project, which cost US$590m, was paid for through airport revenues such as parking, concessions, and tenant fees. No local tax dollars were used.


Hear about other terminal upgrades, including Heathrow, O’Hare and LAX at the Airport Design, Planning & Development stream at Passenger Terminal CONFERENCE in Paris this spring. The full conference program can be found here. 

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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