The former Williams Air Force Base has an impressive history, with over 26,500 men and women earning their wings at Southeast Mesa’s Advanced Flying School. The base closed in 1993 and officially reopened as Williams Gateway Airport in 1994, with a name change to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in 2008. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority (PMGAA) contributes $1.3 billion annually to the Arizona economy, and is developing as an international aerospace center with aircraft maintenance, modification, testing and pilot training.
The baggage claim project consisted of minor remodeling to the interior and exterior areas of the existing passenger terminal. The interior baggage conveyors were expanded, adding 310 lineal feet of baggage conveyance. In order to keep the site active at all times, install for the two belts were done separately, but site work was done simultaneously to avoid extra costs and scheduling of subcontractors. The conveyor system was updated to a new smart technology; the former system consisted of a baggage handler pressing a button that caused the interior conveyor to rotate until stopped. With the new technology, the system will speak to itself; photo eyes shoot a laser to a sensor to turn on the belt when bags are added, it opens the newly installed security roll up door and quickly notifies handlers in case of a jam. In addition, two new baggage conveyors were added to the exterior, feeding into the existing conveyors. Two steel canopies were built to cover the exterior conveyors, protecting them from the elements, particularly the Arizona sun.
This project also includes sub-projects including exterior remodeling of the existing ticketing baggage makeup area, the addition of 325 lineal feet of baggage conveyor system, demolition and reconstruction of the existing door pocket in Hanger 24 and repaving, striping and fencing to the existing parking lot. The baggage makeup area was crucial because it included an update to new technology for TSA’s luggage screening.
Everything stayed active in the airport without any interruptions to TSA or baggage handler activities.