International cargo plane to be flying out of nearby Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

Swoop Airlines flies out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which is north of the Town of Queen Creek. (Swoop)

A cargo plane will soon be at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to bring goods to Mexico, the Queen Creek Town Council was told recently.

The airport, 6033 S. Sossaman Road in Mesa, is owned and operated by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. PMGAA consists of representation from Queen Creek, Apache Junction, Mesa, Gilbert, Gila River Indian Community and Phoenix.

Private investment at the airport includes the Skybridge development on 360 acres on the south end of the airport, Brian J. O’Neill, the airport’s executive director, said at a Jan. 16 meeting of the Queen Creek Town Council.

Mesa SkyBridge LLC committed to invest approximately $25 million for site improvements, including a taxiway extension, roadways, sewer and water, and other basic infrastructure. Services provided by SkyBridge will expedite the shipment of high value goods, manufactured product and other air cargo between Mexico, Latin American and the U.S., according to an airport release.

“They’re thinking they are going to bring thousands of high-wage jobs to the area. It’s going to be an international cargo and logistics center and it will also house the unified cargo processing program, which is a new bilateral trade agreement that Mexico and the U.S. just signed in August of last year,” Mr. O’Neill said.

“We’re looking forward to having a cargo airplane based at Gateway Airport sometime in the second quarter of this year. We’re looking forward to increasing the number of international cargo shipments that are going to be able to traverse between the U.S. and Canada.”

“Members of the authority don’t feel that we work at an airport. We feel that we work in a 3,000-acre economic-development project that just happens to have a thriving regional airport as one of its important infrastructure,” Mr. O’Neill said to the council.

Allegiant recently announced two new destinations from Gateway Airport — to Grand Junction, Colorado, which starts May 15; and to Kalispell, Montana, which starts April 5.

“That will bring the total for nonstop destinations out of the airport to 50 domestic and international destinations,” he said.

In addition to Allegiant, airlines at the airport are WestJet, Swoop, Flair and California Pacific, Mr. O’Neill said.

Pilot-training schools and military flights are also important for the airport, he said.

“Our pilot-training school activities are going strong and we’re getting a lot more corporate activity than we used to get and our military-training exercises are important for the economy and we get our fair share of those even though we don’t have a military unit that is based at the airport,” he said. Vice Mayor Emilena Turley thanked Mr. O’Neill for the update.

“I love your updates. I love your announcements. Because I always know there’s something big happening at Gateway and I love that Queen Creek’s a part of it,” she said.

“It’s just so exciting to see what’s happening and that our residents get to benefit from having the airport closer, but tourism as well and all of those employment opportunities that present to our residents as well. So very exciting,” Ms. Turley said.

Go to gatewayairport.com.

Editor Richard Dyer can be contacted via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or at twitter.com/rhdyer or facebook.com/RichardDyerJournalist

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