Phoenix Airport is the largest and busiest airport in the state of Arizona, and plans always seem to be in the works to expand it, thanks to growth. Formerly known as the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, this largest airport in the state serves more than 30 million passengers on a yearly basis, and all signs seem to indicate that it will continue to be one of the top ten busiest airports in the country in the foreseeable future. The warm climate, the excellent area golf courses, and the fantastic collection of museums are largely responsible for attracting tourists to Phoenix, as is the fact that the Grand Canyon is just a few hours away.
Regardless of your reason for flying to Phoenix, it is good to know that the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is user friendly. Easy-to-follow signs are in place to help you get where you need to go, and there is plenty to do if you find yourself with some time to burn. As is true of any good airport, the Phoenix Airport has shops, restaurants, and bars for travelers to enjoy. These facilities are spread out over three main terminals, the most expansive of which is Terminal 4. This terminal receives the bulk of the international flights, and it does a good job of greeting its visitors. Wireless Internet access is free in Terminal 4, and the restaurants run the gamut from upscale sit-down eateries to fast-food establishments. In the shops, anything from Native American gifts to golf products are up for sale, making for some interesting shopping opportunities.
The other main terminals at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. These older terminals don't offer as many choices as Terminal 4 when it comes to restaurants, bars, and shops, though the choices are still relatively complete. Wireless Internet access is also free in these terminals, and as is true in Terminal 4, there are some interesting museum exhibits to examine for those who might be interested in a quick cultural fix. Beautiful landscape drawings from artist Ellen Wagener are on display in Terminal 2, and over in Terminal 3, a vintage biplane that dates back to 1917 hangs from the ceiling. As for Terminal 4, the museum exhibits come mostly in the form of revolving art exhibits.
For those who are thinking of renting a car at the Phoenix Airport, free transportation to the rental car lot is available. As for getting into town, the trip shouldn't take too long. PHX is just three miles from Phoenix's Downtown District. This means that the Downtown hotels are essentially airport hotels. Unless your hotel offers free shuttle service or you opt to rent a car, there will be other convenient ground transportation options, with taxis being relatively affordable due to the proximity of the airport to the city.
Whether you are flying out of PHX or you need to pick someone up, there are a variety of parking possibilities. When a quick pickup is the aim, the two free cell phone lots should come in handy, while those who need to leave their car for a while can take advantage of the garage spots or the more affordable open lot spots. It is worth noting that anyone who is parking in the cell phone lots must stay with their car. They are also required to keep their parking time to a minimum, with 30 minutes or less being the norm. Two of the terminals also allow for curbside pickup or drop off.
Most people who fly to Phoenix arrive at PHX, though it isn't the only airport in the immediate area. The smaller Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport to the near southeast helps to alleviate the congestion at the Phoenix Airport. This general aviation airport services smaller commercial planes, such as those that are used for charter flights. It also serves the flying needs of those with small private planes, as well as the area police and emergency services, among an array of other things.