Phoenix Sky Harbor records busiest day in its history

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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) in Arizona processed more than 200,000 visitors on Monday, February 13, 2023, as the city welcomed sports fans ahead of Super Bowl LVII, making it the single busiest day in the airport’s history.

The airport, which served more than 44 million passengers in 2022, has on average 120,000 passengers come through its doors on an average day. Planning began more than a year ago which saw the airport work with the airlines, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), law enforcement, concessionaires and the Super Bowl Host Committee to prepare for the sporting event. Alongside the Super Bowl, the airport also welcomed visitors arriving for the WM Phoenix Open golf tournament, which resulted in a significant influx of passengers.

Overall, on Monday, February 13, Phoenix Sky Harbor saw 1,691 takeoffs and landings, 90,244 passengers screened, 47,206 total checked bags, more than 9,100 rental car returns and nearly 50,000 people use the PHX Sky Train. Throughout these operations, the airport reported that there was no wait time at the TSA security checkpoints longer than 22 minutes. Additionally, there were 1,367 total taxi operations (pickups and drop-offs), 23,657 rideshare operations (pickups and drop-offs), 313 business/corporate flight operations (arrivals and departures) and 12 charter operations on that day.

Many airport partners brought in additional staff, the TSA brought in extra K-9 teams to assist with security screening and the airport organized extra volunteers in preparation for the event. More than 80 volunteer navigators and navigator buddy therapy dog teams were in the terminals. There were also 45 volunteers from the Super Bowl Host Committee. Phoenix’s general aviation airports were also busy: Phoenix Deer Valley Airport had 135 aircraft come in for the game, with 91 operations on the Monday; Phoenix Goodyear Airport had 130 aircraft come in for the Super Bowl with total operations for Monday hitting 137.

Kate Gallego, mayor of Phoenix, said, “Super Bowl LVII set records across the City of Phoenix, and that could not be more evident than at our airport. These numbers speak to the appeal of Phoenix and Arizona as a destination for high-caliber events. Our airport is our front door, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work that went in to preparing for these record-breaking numbers.”

Chad Makovsky, director of aviation services at PHX, said, “We received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from travelers about their experience. As America’s Friendliest Airport, we take great pride in ensuring our passengers have a warm, welcoming, and positive experience. We’re constantly working to enhance our facilities to meet the evolving needs of our customers when traveling through our airport. While our entire airport community is experienced at welcoming visitors for major events, they exceeded my expectations as they worked tirelessly over the last year to ensure fans and visitors alike had a positive and memorable experience.”

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