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Arizona Airports

Author: Amelia Wright

Arizona Airports Guide

Since the 1920s, airports have been built in Arizona in response to military and commercial demand. Currently, even some small Arizona towns have their own airports. There are also large hubs that connect Arizona to other U.S. states and countries around the world (assuming pandemic restrictions are not in effect). And a lot of them contribute considerably to the economic welfare of the state. The total economic impact of Arizona airports is estimated to surpass $58 billion.
Over 50 million travelers take off or land in AZ airports annually, and over 680,000 tons are loaded onboard or discharged each year. There are busy hubs with multiple connection flights and small air gates to local towns. Many have prominent histories, mostly related to their military past.

How Many Airports are There in Arizona?

There are 184 airports in AZ, 107 of which are not related to the public sector. Of those, 14 airports belong to Native American tribes. Out of 78 public airports, there are 7 international ones serving most flights in the region. In 2019, it served 46 million passengers, making it the only airport in the state to handle more than 10 million passengers annually. The smallest airport is Show Low Regional Airport, with about 4000 passengers landing and taking off each year.
The list of the major airports in Arizona goes as follows (during the pandemic restrictions, all airports served domestic flights only):

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). The number of passengers—21,928,708 (as of 2020). The number of airlines—20.
  • Tucson International Airport (TUS). The number of passengers—1,698,777 (as of 2020). The number of airlines—8.
  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA). The number of passengers—1,774,763 (as of 2019). The number of airlines—8.
  • Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN). Works for rescue and service flights, private flights. 52,144 flights per year (as of 2019).
  • Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (IFP). Currently serves for charter flights, which can be booked with two airlines.

Airports for Private Aircraft in Arizona

Many airports in Arizona provide landing and takeoff services for private planes. Mostly, these are smaller airports without scheduled commercial flights. In order to land your aircraft there and perform certain operations (like bunkering, technical inspection, etc.), a preliminary arrangement might be needed. However, these airports often provide more personalized and convenient services than major hubs. Here are some airports working for private aircraft:

  • Kingman Airport (IGM)
  • Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR)
  • Benson Municipal Airport

Plane Spotting at Arizona

There are a number of places in Arizona where you can go plane-spotting. Its climate is dry and is mostly hot, making it an ideal location for aircraft graveyards. While there are many across the state, the most popular graveyard for airframes is Davis Monthan AFB, near Tucson. This final storage place houses thousands of military airframes and is open to the public.
Airports are also good places to go plane-spotting. While the busiest ones, such as PHX, handle more modern aircraft, you might find some older aircraft or rare models at one of the smaller airports in Arizona.

Arizona Airports Association

Founded in 1979, the Arizona Airports Association (AzAA) represents both private and public airports as well as other aviation-related organizations in the state. The Association’s goal is to raise public awareness of Arizona airports and aviation in general, and it serves as an information and support center for all aviation-related individuals and businesses in the region.