Pittsburgh Undertakes $1.4b International Airport Project

The Pittsburgh metropolitan area has a population 2.35 million people.

Source : Unsplash

August 4, 2023

Author : Patty Allen

Pittsburgh International Airport has launched an ambitious $1.4 billion renovation project called the Terminal Modernization Program (TMP). This is in addition to the recent efforts that have been taken to revamp the airport, from sanding the runways to aiding in landing during winter.

When enquired about the mammoth airport project, Christina Cassotis, the CEO of Allegheny County Airport Authority, explains, "It's not an expansion - it's right-sizing."

Cassotis, who also oversees several departments at Pittsburgh International Airport, explained that the establishment was originally constructed as a colossal hub for US Airways. However, the development stalled when the airline packed up its offerings from Pittsburgh in 2004.

For the past few years, the administration has been working toward establishing Pittsburgh as a thriving origin and destination (O&D) market, and they have been notably successful in adopting this strategy.

The new Pittsburgh International Airport is due to open in 2025. It features a new terminal, a parking garage with 3,300 spaces, and an easy-to-navigate road system. The airport intends to build a unique link bridge and tunnel connecting its new landside terminal to the existing airside one. 

The new terminal and its new tunnel and bridges aspire to feel authentically Pittsburgh, with dynamic lighting, warm colors, and artwork. 

The airport maintains its commitment to the community by utilizing supplies and fabricated steel from nearby Sippel Steel in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The project will generate about $2.5 billion in economic activity and investment in local businesses, supporting approximately 14,300 direct and indirect jobs.

The new Pittsburgh Airport will contain state-of-the-art TSA screening, baggage check-in, and claim facilities to cut wait times for check-in and security. Due to the new development, the new 811,000-square-foot complex will consolidate most airport functions under one roof.

The TMP is taking steps to make the newly refurbished environmentally sustainable, and the program design team adheres to the LEED Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).

The Pittsburgh airport was the initial one in the central region of the United States experiencing the loss of its hub status. Following the closure of the mini hubs in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, St Louis, Indianapolis, Memphis, and Raleigh, it was determined that the O&D population in these cities needed to be increased to sustain hub flying operations. 

Altogether, the airport is seizing the opportunity to optimize its size at a suitable moment. It has the opportunity to establish a strong position in the aviation industry through its community and sustainability initiatives. 

For instance, the new terminal will be comprehensively supported by its autonomous microgrid, harnessing the potential of on-site natural gas wells and an expensive array of approximately 10,000 solar panels spanning eight acres. The airport management will endeavor to reuse or recycle nearly 75% of the waste generated during construction.

Pittsburgh International is collaborating with the natural gas producer CNX to devise alternative fuel strategies. The partnership will make use of hydrogen to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions. The airport's resources will be employed to foster innovation within the local community. For example, an endeavor is underway to establish a pioneering global hub dedicated to 3D printing and additive manufacturing in collaboration with the esteemed Pittsburgh University.

Category : Airports

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