Luke Air Force Base - An Important Neighbor
Goodyear is proud to be the "home" of Luke's Southern Departure Corridor, an important part of the skyway to the Barry M. Goldwater Range. Goodyear hosts 93% of the 4,005 acres within the high noise contour areas around the Southern Departure Corridor (SDC).
Luke Air Force Base, the largest fighter-training base in the world, is located on 4,200 acres approximately one mile north of Goodyear. Initiating operations in 1941, the base employs more than 8,000 people today including many Goodyear residents. Home to the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion annually to the Valley's economy. To accomplish the base's training mission, the majority of the flights take off to the south over areas of Goodyear to reach the Barry M. Goldwater Gunnery Range near Gila Bend. Because more than 93% of the base's 4,005-acre Southern Departure Corridor is over our city, Goodyear has become the "Protector of Luke's Southern Departure Corridor."
The City has taken bold steps to keep residential development out of the departure corridor to protect the base's mission and to ensure that residential developments in Goodyear are compatible with flight patterns. In the updated 2003 General Plan, the City Council took a very strict zoning stance by allowing residential zoning of only 0-2 houses per acre within a half mile of the high noise contours around the base.
The City of Goodyear also purchased a 44-acre site owned by Duncan Family Farms to prevent potential negative impact on the base. Officials at Luke had determined that touring children were at risk because the flight path of live-ordnance-armed jets was directly overhead.