What Is To Be Done With Pittsburgh International Airport?

The new terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) was constructed in the early 1990s at the behest of US Airways to strengthen Pittsburgh’s status as the principal “hub” in the airline’s system.  Nearly twenty years later PIT sits grossly underutilized and still has about $450 million in outstanding debt from that construction.  US Airways, after two bankruptcies in the early 2000s, has all but abandoned the airport, dropping from more than 500 flights a day to fewer than 50 by late 2010.  Recently the County Executive has promised to make PIT his top priority in the last year of his term.  While the object is to increase utilization by increasing the number of flights at PIT, how does that happen and how can the airport and surrounding property begin to pay the dividends needed to justify the huge investment in the new terminal?


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