Gateway Airport attracts more manufacturer aircraft testing

Over the past few months, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has welcomed five large test groups for manufacturers including Boeing, Mitsubishi, Bombardier and Embraer. (Special to the Independent/Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport)

Sunshine, clear skies and warm weather are just a few reasons so many travelers visit Arizona.

For most, the trip is made during the nine months when many parts of the country are cold and covered in snow. For others, it is to chase the summer heat and clear skies in order to perform flight tests on the newest upcoming aircraft.

Over the past few months, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has welcomed five large test groups for manufacturers including Boeing, Mitsubishi, Bombardier and Embraer.

Gateway Airport has emerged as an industry favorite for testing because of a mix of perfect conditions, including three 10,000-foot runways, a newly reconstructed ramp, large conference rooms, open airspace and ideal weather.

Mitsubishi recently wrapped up more than 30 days of testing with dozens of engineers, pilots and support crew serviced by Gateway Aviation Services, Gateway Airport’s exclusive FBO (fixed-base operation).

Test crews often cite available office and storage space for crews and tools in addition to the reliable average temperatures and flexibility of airport staff as the main reasons they choose Gateway Airport.

“The staff at Gateway Aviation Services went above and beyond to ensure our testing project was a success,” said Katie Woods, flight test team manager for AeroTEC. “The airport was an ideal location for the tests we wanted to perform and we look forward to returning in the future.”

“As a former military base (Williams Air Force Base), Gateway Airport is a natural location for companies to test the newest and most advanced equipment under development,” said Matt Nebgen, director of Gateway Aviation Services. “Our staff is specially trained to ensure that test crews have the resources they need to be successful.”

Gateway Airport is in the Phoenix East Valley with hotels, shopping and dining located within a five-minute drive. The airport recently completed a $10 million project that replaced one million square feet of concrete that provides brand-new ramp space where testing can be completed.

Representatives from Gateway Aviation Services will be on hand for the NBAA-BACE Conference in Las Vegas Oct.10-13 at the Epic Fuels booth-C6910.

For more information about Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, visit

For more information about Gateway Aviation Services please visit

About Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is owned and operated by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. Gateway Airport offers commercial passenger service to 47 destinations via Allegiant Air and WestJet Airlines.

In 2016, Gateway Airport welcomed more than 1.3 million passengers.

Corporate, military and general aviation customers are served by Gateway Aviation Services, a 24-hour full service FBO located just north of the passenger terminal.

Editor’s note: Ryan Smith is the director of communications and government relations for the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority.

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