Providing Positive Environmental Impacts in the Phoenix Community

Increasing service reliability. Encouraging travelers to use more sustainable modes of transportation. Improving energy efficiency.  

These are all factors that led the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) to award the Stage 2 of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport Sky Train (PHX Sky Train®) project team with the Envision Gold Award for sustainability. Gannett Fleming is the lead designer for this project, and this is the first-ever Envision Gold Award win for the firm. Additional key contributors include Golden, Kimley-Horn, SmithGroup, J2 Engineering & Environmental Design, and Hensel Phelps. 

“The PHX Sky Train automated people mover is a sustainable system that delivers an efficient customer experience and has had tremendous positive social, economic, and environmental impacts on the community,” said Mark Pilwallis, PE, SE, SCBI, a Gannett Fleming vice president and project manager. “We greatly appreciate the working relationship we have built with the City of Phoenix Aviation Department – they and the rest of the project team have been true partners in delivering this highly complex program and, ultimately, winning this award.”

Several significant outcomes of the project include:
•    Rapid transit connection to all major airport facilities and regional transit
•    Elimination of 30-minute wait/travel times for shuttle bus service from terminals
•    Full transit capacity for the airport’s long-term growth and development
•    Reduction of daily vehicle count by 20,000 reduces airport roadway congestion.

“Gannett Fleming continues to develop sustainable solutions to meet our clients’ infrastructure challenges,” said Stewart Vaghti, PE, CFM, ENV SP, LEED AP, a Gannett Fleming vice president and corporate sustainability officer. “Achieving this ISI Envision Award clearly demonstrates that the multidisciplinary collaboration between our in-house transit and rail, bridge, structural, and geotechnical professionals was instrumental in this success.”

The office offers roadway and bridge design and inspection, National Environmental Policy Act planning, transportation planning, land surveying, construction management and inspections, alternative delivery, transit and rail design, noise and air quality investigations, traffic operations management, and geospatial technologies. 

Founded in 1915, Gannett Fleming is a global infrastructure and engineering firm that provides progressive solutions for construction services, earth sciences, facilities, geospatial, power, transportation, and water projects. We consistently rank among the industry’s top design firms and embrace sustainability, innovation, and advanced solutions to solve our clients’ complex challenges and improve the communities they serve. Our 2,500+ employees deliver excellence in planning, design, technology, and project management from more than 60 offices around the world. We are ISO 9001:2015 Certified, which assures clients that we meet the most rigorous and independently audited quality standards. Gannett Fleming achieved $483 million in revenues in 2018. For more information, visit