Tucson, Ariz. (Dec. 4, 2012)–The Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) Board of Directors today approved a resolution urging inclusion of a Tucson International Airport (TIA) rail station within the first phase of an inter-city passenger rail effort planned by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).
ADOT's Passenger Rail Corridor Study has identified six route options for a high-capacity rail system connecting Tucson and Phoenix and is seeking public comment on preferences. Each route designates TIA as a future station site, but none plans for an airport stop in the first phase of implementation.
TAA's resolution supports ADOT's efforts, but states that leaving TIA out of the initial phase will have "numerous unintended and adverse impacts on the economy and quality of life in southern Arizona, creating an enormous competitive disadvantage for TIA, severely reducing cargo and commercial air service in the region, and resulting in diminished growth and development opportunities." Additionally, a rail connection to TIA would also provide much needed surface transit options for the community's largest employment base surrounding TIA.
TIA contributes an estimated $3.2 billion annually to the regional economy. The resolution notes the benefits of connecting the airport to the planned system, including "continued growth of the airport, expansion of air service options, and the development of additional aviation and other industrial employment centers in southern Arizona."