MESA, Ariz. — Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s skyrocketing passenger count has exceeded annual estimates since its rapid growth began in 2008, but 2012 delivered more than momentous numbers.
For the first time in the airport’s history, passenger numbers not only topped 1 million but did it with nearly 380,000 passengers to spare.
The airline passenger count for 2012 totaled 1,377,205, a 44 percent bounce from the 956,665 passenger total for the previous year.
“We’re ecstatic about these numbers,” said airport Executive Director Lynn Kusy. “We didn’t expect an upturn this sharp, but it seems like we keep saying that year after year.”
Gateway Board Chairman and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said “The airport is now well on its way toward 2 million passengers a year, a climb that speaks volumes about Gateway’s popularity, ease of access and increasing number of airlines and destinations.”
Most of the increase is attributable to Allegiant Air; the airport’s first carrier that introduced service at Gateway in October 2007 and flies to more destinations than the airport’s two other airlines.
Spirit Airlines began service at Gateway in February 2012 and Frontier Airlines introduced flights in November.
The 2012 passenger total is more than three times the 357,165 passengers that used the airport in 2008. In 2009, the passenger count was 579,059; for 2010 it was 804,340.
Though faster than anticipated, the rapid climb toward 2 million will be accommodated by the airport’s series of passenger terminal expansions, Kusy said. The fifth expansion is to be completed early this fall.
“The airport staff and Airport Authority Board took steps to accelerate that expansion,” he said.
The airport’s long-term expansion plans call for a new terminal to be built near Gateway’s eastern border with links to Ellsworth Road, three Loop 202 interchanges and access from the future Arizona 24, known as Gateway Freeway.
Preliminary design work for a new terminal isn't scheduled until 2014.
About Gateway Airport
The Airport was established in 1994 and is owned and operated by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, which consists of the Gila River Indian Community, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, and Queen Creek. Gateway Airport offers nonstop passenger service via Allegiant,
Frontier, and Spirit Airlines with nonstop flights to over 35 cities and continuing service to over 50 additional cities nationwide. For more information, visit
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Media Contact:
Brian Sexton, Public Information Officer