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Does PIT really need a new terminal?

Does PIT really need a new terminal?

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Old May 9, 19, 4:03 pm
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Does PIT really need a new terminal?

I have only been through the present Pittsburgh International Airport once, in 1995, just a few years after the new complex opened. It consists of a landslide building and an X shaped airside building (with airside mall) connected by an underground tram system. The four arms of the airside building have 75 gates.

The airport authority is embarking on a plan to demolish the existing landslide building and move it up against the airside terminal. This would eliminate the underground train and also a number of the gates.

The airport authority claims that the existing airport design was built to the specifications of US Air when that airline had a hub there and as that airline withdrew from using it as a hub in favor of PHL and CLT, the design no longer "works". The airport had 21 million annual passengers at the height of hub status in 1997 but had 9 million passengers in 2018.

Just curious for any more recent perspectives on this. What are operational flaws or problems at the existing PIT? It seemed like a perfectly functional design to me.

Wikipedia article on airport: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_International_Airport
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Old May 9, 19, 6:26 pm
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Moving thread to the FT Destinations-- Mid-Atlantic Forum
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Old May 10, 19, 4:45 am
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The authority "claims" is was built to USAir's specifications because it was.

If you haven't been there since 1995 then you'll need to imagine what a facility built for 21M passengers looks like with 9M passengers. One terminal is shut down, others are closed off/boarded up half way down the hallway. The infrastructure is similarly underutilized.

If they can sell/lease the recovered land to pay for the investment, and improve security flow, remove the need to take a people mover from one terminal to the other, etc., it seems like a logical move to me. (I haven't analyzed the numbers, but if they're correct, it makes sense).

Does it "need" it? No, it can function as it does today. But I have no issues making it better.

Last edited by CPRich; May 10, 19 at 5:01 am
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Old May 10, 19, 7:28 am
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The airport functions at roughly 42% of its design. Why on earth would it not try to staunch some of the expenses?

Sometimes, one has to spend some money to save more.
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Old May 10, 19, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
The authority "claims" is was built to USAir's specifications because it was.

If you haven't been there since 1995 then you'll need to imagine what a facility built for 21M passengers looks like with 9M passengers. One terminal is shut down, others are closed off/boarded up half way down the hallway. The infrastructure is similarly underutilized.

If they can sell/lease the recovered land to pay for the investment, and improve security flow, remove the need to take a people mover from one terminal to the other, etc., it seems like a logical move to me. (I haven't analyzed the numbers, but if they're correct, it makes sense).

Does it "need" it? No, it can function as it does today. But I have no issues making it better.
I would guess they will sell or lease some of the land for a hotel.
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The airport functions at roughly 42% of its design. Why on earth would it not try to staunch some of the expenses?

Sometimes, one has to spend some money to save more.
Exactly.
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Old May 10, 19, 10:28 pm
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I believe it can be fixed for much less. A new landside terminal is not cheap. Furthermore, the land is not flat so there's some grading that will need to be done to bring the traffic up to the X structure.

I think they should just fix the roof if it is leaking, close off one or two of the concourses, leaving 2 left and consider whether it's cheaper to keep the train or convert it to a walkway with moving sidewalks.
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Old May 15, 19, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
I believe it can be fixed for much less. A new landside terminal is not cheap. Furthermore, the land is not flat so there's some grading that will need to be done to bring the traffic up to the X structure.

I think they should just fix the roof if it is leaking, close off one or two of the concourses, leaving 2 left and consider whether it's cheaper to keep the train or convert it to a walkway with moving sidewalks.
If you close off concourses, you still have some expenses with them and you can't "earn" any revenue from them. If they can demolish the existing landside building and lease the land to hospitality companies or other corporations, they can earn revenue, even as a one time payment.
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Old May 16, 19, 10:21 am
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MDT tore down their old terminal and it seems to have opened up opportunities.

https://www.pennlive.com/midstate/20..._airpo_33.html

Avflight opens new 5,000-square-foot home at HIA; It runs many airport operations | Press & Journal
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