Portion of new, improved Terminal 3 opens at Sky Harbor

- What used to look like this, now looks like this with a new and improved security checkpoint and ticketing area for Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

"It makes it very challenging when you do a remodel because you're trying to rebuild an entire airport terminal on the same day that you're using it on a daily basis," said Director Jim Bennett of Aviation Services.

Bennett says this is the first part of the modernization program to open since construction started in Terminal 3.

"You never know what you're going to find until you start tearing the walls down, so it's like any other remodeling project," he said. "It's challenging, but it's been on schedule and it continues to be on budget."

He says more ticketing counters and a larger security checkpoint will make it easier for passengers to come and go.

"The times have changed since this building opened in the late-70s and the way we travel and the thing that we carry in terms of our technology has all changed," he said.

This includes more outlets in convenient locations.

"Every single chair; you don't have to search and find something on the ground and sit on the ground, you can sit in comfortable chairs and every single one of them will have power," Mayor Greg Stanton said.

Mayor Stanton says this portion of Terminal 3 opens at 3 a.m. tomorrow morning as the first plane full of passengers arrives. He says they might even want to stick around for the sunrise.

"We have an urban airport, you can see downtown, you can see Camelback Mountain... people might want to come to the airport just to enjoy these views," he said.

This is the first stage of Phase 1 that's completed out of three phases. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2020.

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