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About Gateway

About Gateway

Gateway Airport makes it easy to connect to more than 35 destinations.

Past

The former Williams Air Force Base played a strategic role in America's aviation history. Over a span of 52 years, more than 26,500 men and women earned their wings at Williams. Gearing up for the combat pilot demands of World War II, the Army Air Corps broke ground in Southeast Mesa, Arizona for its Advanced Flying School on July 16, 1941. In February 1942, the growing military base's name was changed to Williams Field to honor Charles Linton Williams, an Arizona-born pilot. The facility was re-designated as Williams Air Force Base (WAFB) in January 1948. WAFB was the U.S. Air Force's foremost pilot training facility, graduating more student pilots and instructors than any other base in the country and supplying 25 percent of the Air Force's pilots annually.

The Base was closed in 1993 and officially reopened as Williams Gateway Airport in March 1994. In 2008, the name of the Airport was changed to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Present

Today, Gateway hosts more than 40 companies, serves more than 35 cities with non-stop service via Allegiant, and contributes $1.3 billion annually to the Arizona economy.

Gateway is also developing as an international aerospace center with aircraft maintenance, modification, testing, and pilot training. In addition to the area's skilled labor force, excellent year-round flying weather, three expansive runways averaging 10,000 feet, and access to international markets, Gateway's assets make it a prime location for global-minded companies. Gateway has been designated as Foreign Trade Zone #221, as well as a Military Reuse Zone, offering aviation companies a significant financial edge in the global marketplace.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority owns and operates the Airport. The Authority currently consists of the City of Mesa, City of Phoenix, The Gila River Indian Community, Town of Gilbert, Town of Queen Creek, and City of Apache Junction.

Future

The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Master Plan is the second update to the original master plan undertaken in 1994 and first updated in 1999. A cross- section of citizens, community organizations, airport users, airport tenants, area-wide planning agencies, and aviation organizations served on a Planning Advisory Committee to review and discuss the draft working chapters of the master plan.

The Master Plan forecasts enplanements to reach 850,000 by 2017 and 2.2 million by 2027! Read more in the Airport Master Plan Executive Summary.