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What makes Sky Harbor 'America's Friendliest Airport?'

Around 400 Airport Navigator volunteers at Phoenix's Sky Harbor help the airport's moniker come to life.

PHOENIX — Traveling through airports can create some of the most stressful moments, trying to get places on time, rushing through crowds and on and on.

But in Phoenix, a group of volunteers is changing that dynamic. They’re also helping Sky Harbor live up to its label as “America’s Friendliest Airport”.

There are about 400 Navigator volunteers at Sky Harbor. They're the people in the purple jackets who can be seen smiling and helping travelers on their way. About one-half of the group is actively serving after being closed because of COVID-19.

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The fully volunteer group's mission is simple, to make their guests’ experience at the airport faster, easier and more enjoyable. The Navigators can be found all over the airport sharing information, giving directions and sending a friendly wave. They’re the face of Sky Harbor, greeting more than 100,000 passengers every day.

This year, the Navigator program is celebrating 21 years and Diane Hansen has been with them for 17 of those years.

"We want to be efficient and make sure people don’t have to wander around too awfully much," Hansen said.

Sky Harbor is always looking for more volunteers. Volunteers have to be 18-years-old to be eligible to work one of three, four-hour shifts between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

RELATED: Passenger who jumped from Southwest Airlines plane at Sky Harbor faces felony charges

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