Phoenix-Mesa Gateway dedicates air traffic control tower to John McCain

On Tuesday, a new $30 million air traffic control tower named after the late Senator John...
On Tuesday, a new $30 million air traffic control tower named after the late Senator John McCain was dedicated at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 7:36 AM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A brand new $30 million air traffic control tower at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport was dedicated to late Senator John McCain. Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and Rep. Greg Stanton were in attendance Tuesday as the airport gave itself a much-needed upgrade.

“Completion of the John S. McCain III Air Traffic Control Tower is the culmination of years of hard work and determination by our local, state, and federal leaders,” said Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson, who also serves as the chair of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. “This bipartisan effort will help Gateway Airport continue to grow and create high-wage jobs across greater Phoenix.”

The airport’s new tower is 199 feet tall, about 60% taller than its predecessor, and its cab is twice as large, allowing the airport to have eight controller positions. As the airport continues expanding, the efforts to build a new tower took years, and airport officials say McCain served an essential role in making it happen.

“McCain and Arizona’s Congressional Delegation were instrumental in efforts to remove the $2 million federal funding cap for construction of contract air traffic control towers,” they wrote in a news release.

The tower took about 18 months to complete and officially goes into service on Saturday. Mesa-Phoenix-Mesa Gateway contributes $1.8 billion annually to the area’s economy and continues to grow daily.