Phoenix Mesa Airport Car Rental

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Background…

Construction began in 1941 and by 1942 the United States Army Air Corps had opened Williams Air Base where Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport stands today. The base was created to train pilots during World War II. It was one of the few bases that the United States military held onto after the war ended. In 1948 it became the first jet training base for the military, and was the first place to implement the Undergraduate Pilot Training program in 1966.

It wasn’t until recently, in 1991, that the base was considered too costly by the military. It was closed completely by 1993. Around the same time the base was closed, a call for relief was made by nearby Sky Harbor International Airport. The old base was sold to the local Airport Authority, the runway was expanded, and by 1994 Williams Gateway Airport was open for business. The name of the airport was changed in 2007 in order to draw in more business and help create jobs.  Currently, Allegiant Air operates out of the airport.

Allegiant Air at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Car Rentals…

Being so new, the airport doesn’t have much in the way of rental car services; but it is picking up steam fast. Currently you can choose between Alamo, Enterprise, and Hertz. The rental car counters can be found within the baggage claim area of the terminal. After signing all the proper rental agreements, you’ll be able to pick up your vehicle just outside in the rental car pickup parking lot to the right of the terminal. The drop off location is located directly across from the terminal. If you’d like to know a bit more about where everything is, take a gander at the picture below.

Phoenix-Mesa Car Rental Pickup and Dropoff

Gateway Airport to Phoenix Downtown…

The airport is located just inside Mesa, which is a small city just outside of Phoenix, the capital of Arizona. To get to either downtown area you’ll want to start by taking a right onto S Sossaman Rd. Follow the road until you reach E Ray Rd and take a left. Then take a right onto S Power Rd and you’ll finally be at Santan Freeway, where you’ll need to make a decision.

Gateway Airport to Mesa Downtown…

If you’re looking to get into the center of Mesa and stay around it, then take a right onto Santan Freeway and follow it until you can exit left onto Superstition Freeway. Travel west along Superstition, also known as State Highway 60, until you reach the S Mesa Dr exit. Get off the freeway at the exit, take a right onto S Mesa Dr and you have reached your destination.

To get to downtown Phoenix you’ll need to take a left onto Santan Freeway and follow it until it fork into I-10. Merge onto I-10 North and follow the interstate until you can exit onto S 7th St, then choose either S 7th St exit or one of the next two and turn right from the off-ramp. Congratulations, you are officially in the middle of Arizona’s capital.

Phoenix Mesa Airport Car Rental Return…

Remember, the car rental return area is not the same as the car rental pickup area.  To return the rental car, you will taxi past the terminal, and turn left opposite the terminal.  Signs are very visible and your return shouldn’t be difficult.

The nearest gas station to the airport is a QuikTrip on the S Power Rd, just west of the airport. If you get off of the Santan Freeway, which you will likely be taking on your return trip, exit onto S Powers Rd, take a left from the off-ramp, proceed past E Ray Rd, where you would have to turn left onto to get back to the airport, and you’ll make it to the gas station. Your only other options are to try taking a different exit from the freeway or drive around the winding roads that litter the airport’s surroundings. You’re sure to find something, but will you find your way back afterwards?

Other Car Rental Options at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport…

The area is one jumbled metropolitan mess. There is only one way to ensure you don’t get caught up in it and end up wasting your precious vacation time sitting in line. Buy a GPS system! You don’t have to actually go out and buy your own though. Each rental car company will rent one out to you along with your rental car; it will already be installed and ready to work, for just a few more dollars a day. In the end, it will more than pay for itself. 
Source: Phoenix-Mesa Airport

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