Even with the diminished air travel across the United States, the Prescott Regional Airport (PRC) remains highly visible and garners recognition from several sources.
- PRC was selected as the Arizona Airport of the Year 2020
- PRC received a $1.525 million grant from the Arizona State Transportation Board to be used to upgrade the security around the airport’s perimeter.
- PRC exceeded the 10,000th passenger enplanement number for passengers taking commercial flights from Prescott.
Any one of these accomplishments was gratifying to airport manager Robin Sobotta and her staff. For three of them to occur in October put her team over the top.
The announcement about the 2020 Airport of the Year came from ADOT-Aeronautics Group Director Don Kriz. He told those attending the virtual Arizona Airports Association Fall Conference that PRC was selected based upon several criteria including aviation advocacy, special events, community outreach, new programs, processes implemented, and a commitment to aviation advancement.
Kriz praised the City and PRC personnel for the many achievements that occurred during the year. This included additional funding to support construction of the new $15 million airport terminal and for achieving the status of the fastest growing commercial service airport in Arizona in 2019.
Federal Aviation Authority district officer manager Mike Williams from Phoenix echoed Kriz: “PRC is a well-deserved recipient of the award.”
It’s the second time in the past decade PRC has earned that honor.
Grant Will Help Upgrade Security
The $1.525 million grant from the Arizona State Transportation Board is “coordinated with ADOT to upgrade the fencing along the perimeter of the airport, to modify the access control systems at the gates, and to install CCTV cameras,” said Kristi Miller, airport management analyst.
Money will be used to fund a total $1.75 million project, with ADOT covering 90% of the cost and the city 10%.
Bids will be requested for the security projects early in 2021, and construction will begin in the spring.
A new multimillion dollar, 18,000 square-foot terminal is scheduled to be opened in late March or early April 2021 if no delays occur.
Exceeding 10,000 Passengers Benefits Future FAA Funding
When the 10,000th passenger boarded a plane from Ernest A. Love Field Oct. 19, it marked the point when the airport received Non-Hub Primary Commercial Service airport status with the Federal Aviation Administration. In turn, that makes the airport eligible for $1 million a year in federal funding for future airport capital improvements.
The enplanement number refers to departing, not arriving passengers. The real number of total commercial passengers arriving and leaving to date is somewhere around 26,000 to 28,000.
If departing passenger trends continue along a similar track, it is possible that enplanements could reach 13,000 to 14,000 before the year ends, Miller estimated.
Since August 2018, PRC has been served commercially by SkyWest Airlines, operating as United Express.
In 2019, cumulative enplanements following a full year of service from SkyWest, PRC recorded 27,730 enplanements.
Currently, commercial flights are scheduled daily through double hub service from Prescott to Los Angeles or to Denver.
Photo: New terminal under construction to be open this spring