Sky Harbor Officials Voice Concern Over Coyotes Arena Plans in Tempe

At the end of September, news broke that the Arizona Coyotes were working on a $1.7 Billion Plan for a proposed Tempe Arena Entertainment District which would become the team’s new home if it’s approved.

Officials from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport may be flagged with a “interference” call on the proposed plan as they have started a discussion that features concerns over the proposed arena project in Tempe.

During a Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board meeting on Thursday, Sky Harbor officials voiced concern that they have not yet received enough information from the Coyotes about the project to do a comprehensive analysis on its potential impacts on the airport.

Jordan Feld, Deputy Aviation Director of Planning and Environment, presented an initial analysis on the proposed Tempe arena during the meeting, but he made it clear that it was only based on the “very limited information the developer has provided so far.”

“We aren’t saying, ‘No way, no how.’ We aren’t saying, ‘You can’t develop this property.’ We are just asking to be a part of the conversation to get the data we need to do a proper analysis,” said Chad Makovsky, Phoenix’s Director of Aviation Services “We want to make sure our airlines have the data they need to do an analysis, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration.”

Some serious concerns that stakeholders must consider are building height and airplane noise. With proposed residential building and hotels slated in the project, there is a concern that due to FAA designations, there would be an issue to move forward given the close proximity to the valley’s biggest airport.

In addition, there has been a discussion brewing on safety concerns for pilots operating the planes above the area. Laser light shows, large spotlights promoting events, potential fireworks and drones that are sometimes used at large gatherings could impact the safety of flights.

The Arizona Coyotes plans call for $1.7 billion project that will include a new arena, hotels, restaurants, retail, offices, and large apartment complexes. The project is proposed just over a mile east of one of Phoenix Sky Harbor’s runways.


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