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Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s $28M, Five-Gate Terminal Addition Completes Construction

PHOENIX, AZ — General contractor McCarthy Building Companies recently completed construction of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s (Gateway Airport) new 30,000-square-foot, five-gate terminal modernization project. The approximately $28 million project replaces a 14-year-old temporary passenger terminal annex, originally purchased in 2008 to accommodate the airport’s increased flight traffic.

The newly completed Gateway Airport terminal project provides a larger, modern, energy-efficient, and ADA-enhanced commercial passenger facility designed to accommodate additional future growth. The project was largely funded by federal grants, including a $14.4 million grant from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and an additional $6 million grant awarded in 2023 by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Gateway Airport, which currently serves 45 destinations across the U.S. on Allegiant and Sun Country Airlines, has become a growing hub for economic development in metro Phoenix, bringing an estimated $1.8 billion annually to the Valley and creating 10,224 jobs, according to an economic impact study by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The airport saw double-digit passenger growth in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) with 1.9 million passengers, a 5.6 percent increase over FY22 (a previous high). Seven of the 12 months had record-setting passenger activity.

“The new South Concourse provides additional gates and capacity just in time to welcome hundreds of thousands of sun-seeking spring travelers to Arizona," said J. Brian O’Neill A.A.E., Executive Director and CEO of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. "It also positions Gateway Airport for continued passenger growth in the future.”

With the temporary terminal annex building requiring frequent and expensive maintenance and the space restrictions of COVID social distancing requirements significantly limiting flight departures to one at a time in 2020, Gateway Airport highly prioritized the terminal modernization project to ensure it could support the projected growth during the next 10-15 years. This resulted in securing federal infrastructure grants and funding allocation to initiate and complete the project.

The terminal expansion includes a new glass pedestrian walkway that connects the existing terminal concourses, as well as a new tech lounge, restaurants, and retail space.

Peak manpower on the project included 120 construction workers who safely logged 110,000 hours working without incident on the project. The Gateway Airport expansion included 527,000 pounds of steel, 5,000 linear feet of underground utility lines, and 1,800 cubic yards of concrete.

“Completing construction of the Gateway Airport expansion while working airside in a fully operational airport over the past year and a half without any recordable safety incidents is an accomplishment our team is tremendously proud of,” said Thomas Assante, a Mesa resident and Project Director for McCarthy Building Companies. “We’re eager for airport passengers to experience the new facility and have a streamlined, uncomplicated travel experience while enjoying the new amenities offered by the modernized terminal addition.”

The new terminal was constructed in 18 months while the airport remained fully operational and included demolition of the old facilities, major relocation of underground utilities, and construction of a prefabricated, temporary, three-gate facility that will be deconstructed and stored for future expansions. DWL Architects + Planners served as the project architect.

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