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City celebrates Falcon Field Airport terminal building renovation

Post Date:12/12/2015 1:16 PM

The terminal building at Falcon Field Airport was formally reopened Dec. 12 after a 10-month renovation that upgraded and expanded facilities for pilots, passengers and the public. It is the first of several improvements to be completed this fall and in early 2016 at the Mesa airport.

Numerous aircraft owners, aviation organization members, local business representatives, and Mesa residents attended the ribbon-cutting celebration featuring facility tours, aircraft displays and refreshments. The terminal is located at 4800 E. Falcon Drive in northeast Mesa. Mayor John Giles, District 5 City Councilmember David Luna and Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh were among City of Mesa officials who cut the ribbon to re-open the facility.

“The former terminal was more than 40 years old, so this renovation provides pilots and visitors with a beautiful and functional entrance to Mesa,” Airport Director Corinne Nystrom said. “We hope the aviation community and residents of Mesa will use and enjoy the new amenities of this much-needed facility!”

"The Falcon Field Area has many opportunities for additional development, and this upgraded terminal will help attract new business and general aviation users,” Mayor John Giles said. “Falcon Field Airport will continue its great tradition of being a driving economic force in Mesa."

"This is a wonderful addition to Falcon Field,” District 5 City Councilmember David Luna said. “If you look at the airports throughout the Valley, they all have great terminals that are inviting to pilots. Falcon Field is now at the top of that list and will be a destination for pilots to fly into thanks to the modernization and innovations that went into the new terminal. The airport is now contemporary and competitive in the aviation world."

“The design took to heart the overarching goal for this project: to send a strong message that this airport is at the center of Mesa’s aerospace and high-tech industry,” Sandra Kukla, a lead architect on the design team, said. “The new terminal is contemporary both inside and out, but elements of the design evoke memories of the airport’s past as a WWII pilot training base.”

The interior useable area increased from 3,560 to 5,600 square feet by encompassing the existing building footprint. Interior improvements include the lobby, public waiting area, pilot briefing room, conference room, and restrooms.

“Pilots will have more space to prepare flight plans, there will be charging stations for electronic devices, and the conference room off the lobby will provide meeting space that can be
used by the aviation community,” Nystrom said. Pilots and passengers will have access to restrooms and snack machines 24 hours daily.

The exterior was also modernized and features LED-lit lighted blue fiberglass spires inspired by aeronautic forms and runway lighting. The glowing arches make the building a striking landmark at night.

Shade structures, additional seating and fresh landscaping invite aviation enthusiasts to take a break and watch the variety of aircraft as they take off and land. Binoculars will soon be added to enable spectators to more easily see aircraft activity. A nearby mural pays homage to the airport’s historic past as a World War II training base for British Royal Air Force pilots. A sidewalk painted like a runway is planned that is designed to invite young future pilots to try out the free gliders they can request from the airport staff inside the terminal. These unique features make the Falcon Field terminal an ideal spot for Mesa residents to bring a cup of coffee or a picnic and enjoy aircraft as well as the surrounding scenic Superstition Mountains. The public viewing area is open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. designed the terminal improvements, and Builders Guild, Inc., a Mesa firm, was the general contractor for construction. The $2 million project is funded by the airport, which is a City of Mesa enterprise. Falcon Field is financially self-supporting through user fees and does not receive City General Fund revenues to operate.

In addition to the terminal renovation, grants totaling more than $2 million have been awarded to Falcon Field for improvement projects to be completed in upcoming months.

“The projects are included in the approved Falcon Field Airport Master Plan and five-year Capital Improvement Program,” Nystrom said. “We continuously seek federal and state grant funds to stretch our dollars and make regular airport upgrades.”

Realignment of Taxiway A is planned to help prevent unauthorized aircraft and vehicles on the runways. Blast pads on both ends of the Airport’s north runway will be installed to reduce dust particulates and the erosive effects of propeller wash and jet blast. A new aircraft washing facility will be built on the existing site within the Airport hangar complex. The project will include a new 3,000 square-foot covered and lighted drive-through self-service bay, an additional 3,000 square-foot open-air self-service bay, and new washing equipment.
For more information about the terminal ribbon-cutting or other improvement projects, call 480-644-2450 or email Airport.Info@mesaaz.gov.

Contact: Dee Anne Thomas
Marketing/Communications Specialist II
480-644-4233
Dee.Anne.Thomas@mesaaz.gov   

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