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Tucson International Airport experiences surge in travelers leading to new changes

Posted at 4:56 AM, Apr 29, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson International Airport (TUS) saw a significant increase in traveler numbers, making March its busiest month in 16 years. With the surge in travelers, changes are underway to accommodate the growing travel demand.

According to Tucson Airport Authority, boarding at TUS has risen by 12.5% over the past six months compared to the previous year, ranking it as the fourth highest growth rate among the top 75 airports in the United States.

Austin Wright, Chief Communications Officer of the Tucson Airport Authority, mentioned plans for expansion to meet this growing demand.

“An expansion for the airport is on the horizon right now," Wright said. "We are part of a huge airfield improvement project, so that's gonna take about five years, but after that, a terminal expansion, including an all-new terminal, is on the maps, but we're probably about 10 years away from that."

Additionally, with the surge in travelers, more flights and destinations are expected to be added. "The more you use the airport, the more flights we get. When the community chooses to fly out of their local Tucson home airport, that means we have more destinations, more flight offerings, more flight times, more nonstop destinations,” said Wright.

TUS is expected to have a busy summer, with an additional 45,000 travelers compared to the previous year. The airport has also increased its daily departures from 55 flights to 67 flights and introduced larger aircraft to accommodate more passengers and flights. Travelers are advised to arrive early at Tucson International Airport this summer due to the expected surge in travelers.

Bri Pacelli is a multimedia journalist for KGUN 9. Bri is a graduate from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School, where she earned a degree in journalism and mass communication. She interned with Criminal Minded Media, a podcast company focused on Arizona's historical crime. Share your story ideas and important issues with Bri by emailing or by connecting on Instagram.