Posted by Dr. Honora Norton
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale welcomed David Ramirez, Public Information Officer at the City of Phoenix Aviation Department, as its keynote speaker at a luncheon meeting held at McCormick Ranch Golf Club.  During the program's introduction, Christopher West noted that David has held his position as PIO since 2009, has held various other City of Phoenix positions, and has been an Arizona Republic staff reporter.  
David stated that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, America's Friendliest Airport®, has an annual economic impact of more than $38 billion. Every day approximately 1,200 aircraft and more than 120,000 passengers arrive and depart at Sky Harbor.  In 2018, 45 million people traveled through the Airport.  In 1965, it served 1.6 million passengers.  David talked about the changes within the Airport's 3 terminals, 3 runways, 18 airlines serving the airport, and supporting airports (Deer Valley, Phoenix Goodyear..).  Terminal 3 was built in 1979 and is being modernized in 3 phases with the second phase being just completed and named John S McCain III Terminal 3.  
Recent changes to the airport include:  $27 million in upgrades within International Concourse in Terminal 4 - elevator, queuing, baggage and kiosks. Per David, Terminal 4 is the most used terminal (85% of travelers).  An eighth final concourse with 8 gates for Southwest is scheduled to be completed by 2022.   Of special note within Terminal 4 are the 30 new retail shops, trip advisor center, and urgent care center.  Of interest to the Rotarians was Phoenix Sky Harbor's people mover/train expansion, including planned addition of two more rail miles that will eventually go to the Airport's rental car center and a new hotel.
Other topics David addressed were: new animal relief areas; cell phone lots; the airport's sustainability turf project (eliminated 5 million gallons of water usage and $400,000 in maintenance costs); recycling; solar energy; motorist services, valet and prepaid parking: customer service (400 "purple" navigators); airport's renown art museum; website Espanola upgrades; free Wi-Fi and charging stations; availability of phone checkpoint wait times; USO VIP area in terminal 4; airport tours; and, live music in concourses.