Serving roads and skies since 1927

Serving roads and skies since 1927

By Laurie Merrill / ADOT Communications
December 2, 2019

When it comes to air tourism and travel, Arizona has been on the cutting edge of history.ADOT's Aeronautics Group has been serving airports since 1963

On this day in 1927, Arizona became the first state in the nation to regulate and control commercial transportation of passengers and fuel, according to The Associated Press. That’s also the year that ADOT, then known as the Arizona State Highway Department, got its start.

Today, ADOT manages several functions associated with aviation:

  • In 1963, the state Aeronautics Department was formed to handle the business end of airport development in Arizona. It merged with Arizona Highway Department in 1974 to create the Arizona Department of Transportation. You can read more about this chapter in this blog and learn more about ADOT's airport development role here.
  • Since 1965, the state has owned and operated Grand Canyon National Park Airport in Tusayan, which is the fourth-busiest in the state in terms of passengers served. Read more in this blog.
  • In the early 2000s, aeronautics functions were reorganized within ADOT. The aircraft registration unit was sent to the Motor Vehicle Division, the airport development group went to the Multimodal Planning Division and Grand Canyon National Park Airport was organized under the Administrative Services Division.

You may be surprised by how much ADOT handles in terms of transportation in every corner of the state. Aviation is one facet of that.