Aerial view of a portion of the North Runway 8/26 at Sky Harbor Airport
Opinion: It’s easy to predict what will happen when Tempe builds 1,000 new homes near the airport’s southern runway, and none if it is good for any of us.
By Thelda Williams, Paul Johnson, Terry Goddard and Phil Gordon, opinion contributors|Arizona Republic
Preserving the asset that is Sky Harbor International Airport has necessarily been a cooperative economic project between Valley cities.
Since 1994 Phoenix and Tempe have been guided by our intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that was born out of Tempe’s desire to stop the development of a new runway at Sky Harbor – today’s southern, third runway. That agreement addresses the flight paths departing Sky Harbor to the east and protects Tempe residential neighborhoods from aircraft noise along those routes.
For more than 25 years, Sky Harbor’s growth, expansion and development plans have been made with the IGA and adherence to its prescribed eastbound departure path in mind.
Tempe even appointed its own aviation commission to ensure that the terms of the agreement remain viable and enforced. All of this to protect Tempe neighborhoods from the life-altering experience of having a flight path directly over their homes.
Residential units violate a longstanding agreement
Phoenix and Tempe set an agreement years ago to protect residents from aircraft noise.
We are gravely concerned that Tempe’s recent request for proposal for a new entertainment district – centered around a new arena for the Arizona Coyotes – includes well over 1,000 new residential units, in clear violation of the intergovernmental agreement.