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Phoenix Leaders Unveil John McCain Plaque At Sky Harbor Airport

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and city leaders on Tuesday unveiled a plaque honoring former U.S. Sen. John McCain at Sky Harbor Airport.

The Phoenix City Council voted in 2017 to name Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3 in honor of McCain. The unveiling precedes final renovations at the terminal, which cost a total of $590 million.

Those renovations are scheduled to complete next week.

“The new concourse will be home to local restaurants, stunning art, a nursing room, and increased energy efficiency standards,” Gallego said. “This is another important investment in our state’s No. 1 economic driver.”

Cindy McCain, who helped Gallego unveil the plaque honoring her late husband, said John McCain “would’ve loved this.”

“He loved, as you know, he was an aviator himself,” Cindy McCain said. “He loved not only traveling but traveling with a zest as you all know. And more importantly, the most important part of this, traveling to do what was good for the country, good for the world as well.”

Gallego also announced that 2019 was another record-breaking year at Sky Harbor. Nearly 46.3 million travelers passed through the airport last year, breaking the record previously set in 2018.

Ten new gates will start serving passengers at the north concourse on Feb. 4, one day after passengers will begin arriving on flights. All airlines are scheduled to be relocated from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 by Feb. 6.

Gallego highlighted several features in the north concourse, including a nursing room for mothers and even a “pet relief” area.

Once the transition is complete, Terminal 2 will be closed and eventually demolished. 

Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.