The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has been operating since the early 1930's. From a very small airfield, it has grown to an airport capable of serving more than 40 million travelers annually. These numbers make it one of the busiest airports in the southwest region. Travelers to the airport should expect crowds and budget time for security lines.
Due to the climate and wind patterns of the area, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has some unique design features. It is one the largest airport in the world where all of the runways are parallel to each other. There is no cross-winds runway as the consistent wind patterns in the city allow for all the runways to lie in the same direction.
There are currently three terminals at the airport. A fourth terminal was phased out and demolished as the airport continued to upgrade and expand its offerings while improving efficiency. With more than 1500 flights and over 100,000 passengers served daily, efficiency is a key factor in the airports success.
The air control tower at the airport is new. It opened in 2007. More than 300 feet high, it is now the fifth tallest air control tower in the world. As a new control tower, the capabilities of the controllers are expanded so that additional flights can be supported with the latest technologies.
This expansion supports Phoenix's plans for expanding the airport's international offerings. Currently, the only international service offered is to the UK. However, in 2009, the airport is planning to star offering flights to Dubai in a partnership with Emirates Airlines. The addition of this service will depend on the prevailing economic climate.
To get to the airport, most guests drive or take the metro. Metro routes 13, 15, and 40 serve the airport and run throughout the day at short intervals. Shuttles also move arrivals to the terminals from the parking and train areas.