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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-When the city of Scottsdale purchased the former Thunderbird II Airfield from the Arizona Conference of Seventh Day Adventists in 1966, the area, in general, was considered on the outskirts of the Phoenix metro area. A little more than 40 years later, however, Scottsdale Airport thrives and is planning its next step: Future sustainability.

“The corporate clientele that frequents Scottsdale will have more choices insofar as which general aviation airport they fly into,” explains Kim Hanna, Scottsdale Airport’s assistant aviation director. With city fields Glendale Municipal Airport and Phoenix Deer Valley Airport providing services for corporate clients, along with Sky Harbor International Airport and the regional Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport providing commercial services, “we need to continue to look at our business model, where we’re generating income and where those revenue streams are coming from,” Hanna tells GlobeSt.com.

To that end, the city of Scottsdale has worked with a consultant to develop the Scottsdale Airport Strategic Business Plan. The goal of the plan is to determine Scottsdale Airport’s primarily future. The plan also provides four focuses, or recommendations, for the airport’s advisory committee and Scottsdale city council to consider. The public has also been invited to give their two cents’ worth on the four options, which range from keeping the situation as is to adding passenger and commuter service to the current operations.

Hanna points out that the airport’s future is up to the citizens, and the council will ultimately vote on a final recommendation. “We don’t have an opinion on this one way or the other,” she says. “We want what our bosses want, which is the council and the citizens. Everyone needs to be engaged on this.”

The plan’s necessity was the result of improved traffic infrastructure. Before State Hwy. 101 was completed during the early 2000s, getting from anywhere in the Phoenix metro area to the northern edge of Scottsdale, where the airport is located, took a long time using surface roads. If someone wanted to fly into Glendale, that person would fly into the municipal airport there. If someone else wanted to fly in on the northern edge of the area, Scottsdale Airport was the logical choice.

But 101′s opening has linked Glendale, Scottsdale and the far north side, meaning it takes only 15 to 20 minutes to get from the Deer Valley Airport to Scottsdale Airport, when it once took at least an hour. While this is great for the commuting public, it’s been a headache for the regional and municipal airports.

“If someone wants to build a brand-new hangar to accommodate a new plane, they can build wherever they want,” Hanna remarks. “Land prices are cheaper at Deer Valley and in Glendale.” There is also plenty of land at those two airports. “We’re completely landlocked,” Hanna says. “We’re out of room to expand and grow. So the questions that are being raised are, where do we encourage redevelopment?”

One thing that Scottsdale Airport does have is Scottsdale Airpark, which is one of the most successful airparks in the United States. Hanna says that the Scottsdale Airport’s strategic plan is being geared to work alongside Scottsdale Airpark’s future.

The Scottsdale Airport Advisory Commission will meet in June to vote on recommendations, with Scottsdale City Council meeting in July for a study session on the plan.”Depending on what comes out of the study session, the council can decide to go ahead with one of the recommendations, or tell us what more needs to be done,” Hanna says. “We’ll have a better idea of where this plan is going after the council decides.”

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