Case Study

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Rental Car Center An Elevated Car Rental Experience Makes for a Seamless Journey

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

The Challenge

HKS was tasked with creating a consolidated car rental facility (CONRAC), at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. With sustainability and a convenient, seamless experience in mind, the facility needed to bring 16 different car agencies under a single roof to better serve the third-largest car rental market in the United States.

The Design Solution

Customer-facing services are each housed in separate bays of a grand 150,000 square foot (13,935 sm) customer service building that consolidates storage and back-of-house services in a 7,200-space, multi-level rental car facility.

Open space abounds, allowing for lines to form and for large groups to congregate, giving the lobby the feeling of a small airport. The exterior expresses itself as a slab of weathered stone, carved from the existing desert rock by years of erosion. The canopy recalls a desert wash while skylights control the light like a deep rock shaft.

A fleet of 55 energy efficient buses provide transportation to and from the airport terminal, minimizing traffic, pollution, and wait times.

The HKS design team, in association with our partners, TranSystems, engaged city agencies, arts and cultural experts, airlines and community members to ensure convenient planning and a positive contribution to the community.

The Design Impact

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport became home to the nation’s largest CONRAC when the new facility was completed in 2005. It is equivalent in size to 103 football fields and houses all of the airport-based rental car companies and their operations.

Project Features

  • 141 acres
  • 16 rental car companies
  • 2.55 million square feet (232,257 sm)
  • 150,000 square foot (13,935 sm) customer service building
  • 7,200 ready-return spaces
  • Integrated automated people mover


  • 2003 AIA San Mateo County, California, Merit Award

The $252 million consolidated rental car facility benefits all by providing a world-class experience reflective of the rich history of the past combined with the bold and bright future of Arizona.

Phoenix Aviation Director