News from the Sky: PHX’s Success = Arizona’s Success

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is the largest economic engine in the state of Arizona. But what does that mean? The airport provides significant opportunities for those in the state. To put it simply, a successful and thriving Phoenix Sky Harbor drives a booming Arizona.

Did you know the Phoenix Airport system, which also consists of two general aviation airports—Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear, represents an annual $38 billion economic impact, according to a 2017 study by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business Seidman Research Institute?

Here are some important stats:

* PHX drives a direct economic impact of $12.3 billion.

* PHX supports a combined workforce of more than 57,000 employees.

* The airport supports 269,000 regional jobs. That would be enough to make it the 6th largest city in the entire state.

* Each day, more than 1,200 flights arrive and depart.

* More than 130,000 passengers pass through PHX’s terminals daily. That’s almost equivalent to filling the State Farm Stadium twice for an Arizona Cardinals game.

* PHX offers travelers more than 120 nonstop domestic destinations and more than 20 international destinations.

* State and local taxes generated by airport-related activity total more than $2.2 billion annually. That’s more than the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the island nation of Saint Lucia.

Phoenix Sky Harbor is not only a vital economic engine for the state but provides substantial benefits for local residents and businesses by providing an important connection to cities across the country and globe. For example, nonstop international flights generate more than $3.4 billion dollars each year. The Airport also facilitates the arrival of inbound visitors and goods and services that enhance the local economy. Nowhere has this been more evident than earlier this year when Arizona played host to the Super Bowl. The economic impact from the Super Bowl in Arizona identified that the more than 100,000 visitors who came to the state for the Big Game spent more than $220 million. And, how did the majority of those visitors get to Arizona? By arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor. In fact, the airport saw its busiest day ever the Monday after Super Bowl when more than 200,000 people came through the terminals.

But the Airport isn’t just seeing high passenger traffic numbers for special events. In 2022, Phoenix Sky Harbor served more than 44 million passengers. This year so far, the Airport’s passenger traffic is 3.2% higher than 2019, a record-breaking year for the Airport. The Airport is on track to exceed those numbers this year thanks to a number of large-scale events in the area and Arizona being a well sought after destination.

And even though Phoenix Sky Harbor, Phoenix Deer Valley, and Phoenix Goodyear airports are owned by the city of Phoenix, operations at these airports cost local taxpayers nothing. Only airport users pay for the airport.

Phoenix Sky Harbor is an important part of the community just as airports in general play a significant role in economic growth for local communities. According to the 2017 “Taking America Beyond the Horizon: The Economic Impact of Commercial Service Airports” by Airports Council International—North America, commercial airports in the U.S. exceed $1.4 trillion in economic activity and support more than 11.5 million jobs with a payroll of $428 billion.

Investment in local airports is a sound investment in the future. It’s the guaranteed way to continue to help Phoenix and Arizona thrive.