Phoenix Sky Harbor, Economic Impact

The Economic Impact Of The Aviation Industry, Phoenix Sky Harbor

Most everyone knows Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is an economic engine for the state, but the actual numbers are nothing short of staggering.

One of the 10 busiest airports in the nation for U.S. passenger traffic, Sky Harbor had a $33 billion economic impact in Arizona in 2007, supporting 305,136 jobs through the Phoenix Airport System with a payroll of $11.9 billion. This includes airline employees, food service, security and air traffic control personnel. Currently, more than 33,500 people are employed at Sky Harbor with a payroll of $1.7 billion.

Directors of three Valley airports provided an enlightening perspective of aviation issues relating to economic growth and environmental quality at Valley Forward’s recent luncheon. Expert panelists included: Danny Murphy, aviation director for Phoenix Sky Harbor; Lynn Kusy, executive director of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport; and Gary Mascaro, aviation director of Scottsdale Airport.

According to the Arizona Airports Association, more than 470,000 Arizona jobs are related directly or indirectly to aviation with an annual payroll of $14.7 billion. The aviation industry facilitates further economic development by bringing visitors and newcomers to the state and provides vital links for transportation services that add value to the region.

Over the past few years, our local airports have made tremendous strides in becoming more environmentally sustainable. For example, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s terminal expansions are energy-efficient and can support solar panels installations. Scottsdale Airport reuses materials for pavement projects and installs LED systems for airfield lighting replacements. Additionally, there are plans underway for a new airport operations center, which will be built in accordance with the city of Scottsdale’s green building standards. Phoenix Sky Harbor also has incorporated a number of green initiatives including reducing energy use through greener construction and energy-efficient buildings, using alternative fuels and finding ways to cut back on overall waste.

Economic Impact of Aviation Industry, Phoenix Sky HarborAs an aside, I’m honored and excited to be a participant in the fifth PHX Aviation Academy sponsored by the Support Sky Harbor Coalition in association with the City of Phoenix Aviation Department. This eight-week program offers a rare opportunity to go behind and above the scenes of PHX. For example, last month I found myself in the cockpit of the Air National Guard’s workhorse Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker! And at the end of this month I’ll get an exclusive tour of the FAA control tower.

The total impact of the state’s aerospace industry, both in terms of economic impact and number of jobs created is extensive and will continue to grow as long as we continue to provide and maintain the infrastructure of our airport and aviation facilities.

For more information about Phoenix Sky Harbor, skyharbor.com.

 

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Diane Brossart

About Diane Brossart

Diane Brossart has a longtime connection with Valley Forward Association, having first joined the non-profit public interest organization 20 years ago. Brossart served on the Valley Forward Board of Directors for several years and was named President of the association in 1991. As President, Brossart oversees a staff of four and manages a host of committees, which focus on such issues as land use planning and desert preservation, transportation and air quality, water concerns and environmental education. Under Brossart's leadership, Valley Forward has received widespread recognition for its role in addressing environmental and quality of life issues in the Valley. Awards include an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9; Award of Distinction from the Western Mountain Region of the American Institute of Architects; and first-place honors from the City of Phoenix Mayor's Environmental Awards Program. Brossart also received the Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America's Phoenix Chapter in 2008, in addition to the 2009 Champion of Sustainability Award through the Phoenix Business Journal's Green Pioneers program. She is also involved as a member of several civic organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Valley Partnership, Friends of the West Valley Recreation Corridor and Phoenix Community Alliance. Prior to her work with Valley Forward, Brossart was Vice President of one of the Valley's largest public relations agencies, serving as a marketing consultant to Valley Forward and several commercial accounts. Brossart received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Wayne State University in 1979 and began her professional career as a reporter for a daily newspaper in metropolitan Detroit.