Sky Harbor Highlighted During Vice-President’s Visit
Vice President Joe Biden hosted a round table discussion at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport November 16, highlighting projects that are putting Arizonans back to work including one that is underway right at the Airport. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Arizona Congressman Harry Mitchell welcomed the Vice President to Phoenix Sky Harbor. Phoenix Assistant Aviation Director, Jane Morris participated in the panel discussion, along with two local businessmen and a teacher from Gateway Elementary School.
Thanks to $11.7 million in Federal Recovery Act funding, Sky Harbor is re-constructing a taxiway on the north side of the Airport. Until now, the taxiway was only able to handle small aircraft and ground vehicles. When complete, it will be capable of moving large commercial aircraft between the north runway and the terminals at Sky Harbor.
“We’re investing in America’s transportation system,” said Vice President Biden. “And as we do, we’re investing in Arizona workers.”
The construction of the new taxiway at Sky Harbor is creating 300 new jobs. Scheduled to be completed in February, Morris described the taxiway project as a “huge investment,” because it will allow pilots to transport passengers between Sky Harbor’s longest runway and the aircraft gates much more efficiently. “We’re trying to lay a new foundation for the 21st Century,” said Vice President Biden.
Also joining the panel discussion was Jason Blumenthal, Owner of blu sudz eco-friendly products and laundry services. Blumenthal founded his company after being laid off from a manufacturing job last December. Blu sudz is growing thanks to a Recovery-backed grant. Donald Karner, President of Electric Transportation and Engineering Corporation joined the panel to discuss how a Recovery investment is helping his company build electric vehicle charging stations in several cities. Jeanne Simons, a seventh and eighth grade teacher from Gateway Elementary School spoke during the discussion about how she was on the verge of having her position cut until Recovery Act money became available.
“Sky Harbor was honored to host such an important event,” said Morris, pictured with the Vice President on the right side of this page. “And we are fortunate to be able to put so many Arizonans to work and make our airport more efficient thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”
More on Stimulus Funds and Taxiway Project