Danette Bewley

President & CEO
Tucson Airport Authority

If you were to be asked by a site selector, what is the best part of doing business in Tucson, what are the areas you would highlight?

Tucson is a vibrant and growing city. With a diverse and rich business community, the Tucson International Airport (TUS) plays a significant role in our city’s ability to attract and retain businesses. It is conveniently located and extremely easy to use with a growing list of air service offerings and convenient amenities like affordable parking just outside the terminal doors and shorter lines for check-in and security. When you have a convenient airport with 60 daily flights and access to over 300 worldwide destinations, a thriving airport makes Tucson the perfect place to do business. 

What are some of the emerging trends in your industry that could have an impact locally on site selectors looking at the Tucson region?

TUS has recovered from the COVID pandemic at a rate that far exceeds the national average of comparably sized airports, and will surpass pre-pandemic passenger levels in the fourth quarter of 2023. The ability of our airport to fully recover so quickly in such a competitive landscape speaks to the importance of our community to the airlines that serve Tucson. With exciting new and returning nonstop flights to Orange County, Calif., Everett, Wash., and Portland, Ore., the trends are positive. As many cities struggle to regain air service, TUS has proven to be a highly desirable market as airlines continue to invest in new routes to our city. 

Aside from the areas you would highlight to a site selector, what are you most optimistic about for the future economic development in the region?

As an $8.3-billion economic engine, the airport system, which consists of Tucson International Airport and Ryan Field, plays a part in the success of the region. One major economic driver for the region is airline service to our community. Beyond the restoration of flights lost during the pandemic, we have added new routes and additional flights to serve the needs of southern Arizona. It is the spirit of partnership and collaboration with the airlines that makes us feel so optimistic about the future. 

This collaboration and support have allowed the airport to aggressively work on the largest safety project in its history, and to transform the airfield to modern standards and add capacity with parallel runways that will serve commercial, military and general aviation aircraft for decades to come. In addition, with airline support, we have developed a terminal concept that reimagines the existing post-security layout and gate footprint from 20 gates to as many as 35 gates. The total investment in these projects is over $1 billion.

In addition, there is airport land available to grow non-aeronautical revenue for the airport system, which supports business growth and the goals of the community. Working in partnership with the FAA, we have cleared regulatory processes on some land parcels, which allow land development to begin.


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