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Phoenix Sky Harbor, owned by Acme Investment Co. 1934 Sky Harbor’s field was built by Scenic Airways Inc. in 1928-29 and purchased by Acme when the builders left town following the depression. East and west about 5,000 feet were available and north-south a short half mile was usable by dodging the two farms shown in the far left and right center.
On March 4, 1930 it was sold to Frank Free of Phoenix, AZ Sky Harbor Airport. It landed again at Tucson on March15, 1930 flown by Charles Goldtrap carrying six passengers. Their itinerary was a round robin from Phoenix. Scenic Airways had, by this time, folded due to the Depression, and Sky Harbor was relatively barren. Ruth Reinhold (reference, left sidebar, p. 184) describes the scene:
"The year 1930 was an unhappy one for Scenic Airways' Phoenix Sky Harbor. The field's new owners....had no desire to run and airport; thus Charlie Goldtrap, the former operator of South-Central, was invited to become 'nominal manager.' He and his partner...moved in with their Monocoupes and a Monoprep. These, plus a new Aeronca and a few privately owned units, helped to fill the void left by Scenic's departure."
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Airport eyes big changes
Passengers likely to pay part of $2 bil expansion
Ginger D. Richardson
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 10, 2006 12:00 AM
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is about to embark on what will likely be the most ambitious, and certainly most expensive, expansion in its 78-year history.
More than $2 billion worth of projects are planned, including a new 33-gate terminal, two new taxiways, major street improvements and possibly even a driverless train system that would connect airport terminals to its remote parking garages and the Valley's light-rail system.
Although most construction will not begin before 2009, city leaders are starting to make tough decisions about how the airport will grow and who will bear the cost of expanding it.
Sky Harbor's terminals and roadways have gotten noticeably more crowded and difficult to navigate in the past 18 months.
The city says that without the upgrades, residents and visitors will start to see more frequent baggage backups and flight delays, longer security lines and continual logjams at the terminals' curbside check-in areas.
"Right now, our airfield can carry more planes and passengers than our terminals can handle," assistant aviation director Paul Blue said. "If we don't do something, things will be ugly for our customers."
That is why they believe the construction of a new 33-gate terminal is the single most important project at Sky Harbor. The building, which will require the demolition of aging Terminal 2, is expected to cost $750 million, though officials say that is a very fluid figure.
An ASU stuudy about the Wilson School DIstrict. I would like to quote a few lines from a paper by the ASU School of Design on the history of the Wilson School District and Community. Here is the link to the study:
Here is the link to the study:
Sky Harbor Airport was born in 1928 when Scenic Airlines selected a site south of the State Hospital as its base of operations in Phoenix for flights to theGrand Canyon.A previous airport had operated theVan Buren Airport at 24th Street and Van Buren. OnNovember 24, 1928, Scenic Airlines bought 278 acresof Van Buren Airport land and cotton farms for$125,000. By 1929, Sky Harbor was named and inoperation. Routes to San Francisco, Los Angeles, andEl Paso complemented Sky Harbor’s initial GrandCanyon route. Sky Harbor was an immediate success,even attracting the All Women’s Transcontinental AirRace and Amelia Earhart.Hard times were soon to follow however. The GreatDepression hit both Sky Harbor and Scenic Airwaysh a rd .Scenic was fo rced to sell Sky Harbor to a gro u pof Phoenix investors, the Acme Investment Company.Despite its financial troubles Sky Harbor already hadmany supporters, including 20-year-old BarryGoldwater, who took flying lessons at the airport.Acme Investment Company suffered from many ofthe same financial problems as Scenic. In 1935,Acme,near bankruptcy, threatened the City of Phoenix with
closing the airport and thus interrupting mail service to Phoenix. Phoenix had realized the need for a cityairport as early as 1921, when a city planning docu-ment recommended the purchase of 1,600 acresnorth of Grand Canal. The City of Phoenix boughtthe airport on July 16, 1935, for $100,000.World War II brought the federal government intoSky Harbor’s life. From 1941 until 1944, Sky Harborsaw many of its planes painted camouflage and itspilots sent overseas to fight. The U.S.Army used SkyHarbor as a ferry station for its fighters andbombers.The Army left Sky Harbor with the open-ing of the Army’s own airbase in Coolidge in 1944.After the war, the newly formed U.S.Air Forceleased 19 acres from Sky Harbor for one of its AirNational Guard units. The unit became known as the“Copperheads” and still resides at Sky Harbor today.The post-war boom suddenly made Sky Harbor oneof the busiest airports in the United States, withsome 322,120 operations in 1948.