Allegheny County Airport
|Allegheny County Airport|
|IATA: AGC – ICAO: KAGC – FAA LID: AGC|
|Owner||Allegheny County Airport Authority|
|Location||West Mifflin, Pennsylvania|
|Elevation AMSL||1,252 ft / 381.6 m|
Allegheny County Airport (IATA: AGC, ICAO: KAGC, FAA LID: AGC) is in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, four miles (6 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. It is the fifth busiest airport in Pennsylvania following Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Harrisburg. The airport is owned by the Allegheny County Airport Authority and is the primary FAA designated reliever airport for Pittsburgh International Airport. Allegheny County Airport was dedicated on September 11, 1931. When it was completed, it was third largest airport in the country, as well as the only hard-surface airport in the country. It was historically the main entrance to metro Pittsburgh via air from its inception until June, 1952 when the Greater Pittsburgh Airport (now Pittsburgh International Airport - KPIT) opened for commercial aviation. Like many historic municipal fields, Allegheny serves small and mid-sized private, corporate and commercial traffic well, but was not built to handle jet airliners.
The airport is popular among business travelers, being closer to downtown than Pittsburgh International Airport. It is much closer to the densely populated South Hills, Monroeville area and Monongahela Valley.
The airport had a Hollywood big screen moment in 2004's The Mothman Prophecies, serving as the small Point Pleasant, West Virginia airport where the governor and Richard Gere debate how serious the impending crisis is in the river town. Also the Airport and Terminal were used in the 1986 movie Gung Ho starring Michael Keaton.
The main terminal was built on a former steel industry slag dump  in 1931 by Stanley L. Roush, with later additions by Henry Hornbostel in 1936. Aiming for a more modern design for the building, it was designed in white brick with touches of black, silver, and green. Hornbostel continued with these colors for his additions. Above the stainless-steel canopy is a semi-hexagonal doorhead. To each side is an Art Deco urn with medallions containing images of flight by both humans and animals. The 1936 renovations bricked up all windows of the field to the restaurant and by the summer of 1936 it had long been known for the largest amount of runway paving in the world at a combined 50 miles, as well as being one of the largest fields in the world at 108 acres. Although it no longer services major commercial traffic, the airport can still accommodate aircraft up to the size of a DC-9.
Allegheny County Airport covers 432 acres (1.75 km2) and has two active runways and one helipad:
- Runway 10/28: 6,501 x 150 ft (1,982 x 46 m) Concrete
- Runway 13/31: 3,825 x 100 ft (1,166 x 30 m) Concrete
- Helipad H1: 47 x 45 ft (14 x 14 m) Concrete
County Police Station
The airport has a small station currently operated by the Allegheny County Police Department as a local station and a base for airport security operations. The airport offices and flight schools are patrolled by private security companies who work closely with the County Police.
The airport does not have any defined airport security checkpoint as most flights are private planes or company jets. Airlines are left to provide their own security inspection, if any. The way the airport building is laid out would make a checkpoint both impractical and hard to control.
The Allegheny County Airport Authority has received $2 million from the federal stimulus bill for construction at the Allegheny County airport. The money will be used to renovate four taxiways. It will also be used to reconfigure aircraft apron areas. This will allow for future construction on aircraft maintenance hangars and ramp space associated for the maintenance areas. Construction was scheduled to begin July 20, 2009. The airport expected 40 new jobs to be created with the project but says it is the gateway for more jobs when the aircraft maintenance facility construction starts. The construction will help improve the layout of the airfield.
|April 5, 2010||Small private plane||Caught fire while taxiing, no one injured.|
|January 31, 1956||U.S. Air Force||North American TB-25N Mitchell 44-29125, on cross country flight from Nellis AFB, Nevada to Olmsted AFB, Pennsylvania, after departing Selfridge AFB, Michigan suffers fuel starvation NE of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in mid-afternoon, attempts to divert to Greater Pittsburgh AFB, ditches in the Monongahela River at the 4.9-mile (7.9 km) marker, west of the Homestead High-Level Bridge, drifts ~1.5 miles (2.4 km) downstream in 8–10 knots. current, remaining afloat for 10–15 minutes. All six crew evacuate but two are lost in the 35 °F (2 °C) water before rescue. Search for sunken bomber suspended February 14 with no success – aircraft is thought to have possibly settled in submerged gravel pit area in 32 feet (9.8 m) of water, ~150 feet (46 m) from shore, possibly now covered by 10–15 feet of silt. This crash remains one of the Pittsburgh region's unsolved mysteries.|
|December 22, 1954||DC-3 Military Charter|||
|December 29, 1951||Curtiss C-46 Continental Charters Flight 4–22|||
|August 31, 1940||Pennsylvania Central Airlines||En route from Washington, D.C. while 140 miles out crashed with all 28 dead on the "Lovettsville air disaster".|
|March 25, 1937||TWA Flight 15A|| A Douglas DC-2 crashed on final approach to airport due to icing of control surfaces. All on board were killed.|
|April 7, 1936||TWA Flight 1|| A Douglas DC-2, known as the Sun Racer, crashed near Uniontown, PA while en route to Pittsburgh. 12 of the 14 people on board were killed.|
|January 26, 1935||TWA||Crashed in an adjacent slag mound, 10 minutes after taking off in the early morning hours en route to Columbus, killing the pilot, it was carrying a cargo of mail only at the time.|
|May 30, 1928||Hot Air Balloon||At the National Balloon Races Championship at adjacent "Bettis Field" a balloon crashes with 100,000 spectators, both operators die.|
Historic Landmark Status
Harold Gatty and Wiley Post visited the airport as it was finishing construction both from the ground and air and commented that it was the finest airport they had encountered.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Allegheny County Airport.|
- Allegheny County Airport
- Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation: Allegheny County Airport
- (PDF), effective July 21, 2016
- Resources for this airport:
- Information taken from the Allegheny County Airport Authority, retrieved January 14, 2012.
- West Mifflin Historical Research Committee (c. 1976), History of Mifflin Township To West Mifflin Borough, p. 146
- County Of Allegheny Office of the Chief Executive (2006), Onorato Congratulates Allegheny County Airport on 75th Anniversary (PDF), p. 1, retrieved April 28, 2011
- Wills, Rick (2006), "Smaller airport has big history", Tribune-Review, retrieved April 28, 2011
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania Aviation History, archived from the original on June 7, 2011, retrieved April 28, 2011
- Kidney, Walter C. (1985), "Landmark Architecture: Pittsburgh and Allegheny County", Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation: 288, ISBN 0-916670-09-0
- Ward, Henry (June 21, 1936). "'Behind The Scenes' Activities Important Phase In Operation Of Vast Transportation Center". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- "Airport Authority's Bradley D. Penrod and ACI-NA Testifies to Success of Stimulus Funding for Airport Improvement". Allegheny County Airport Authority Press Release. June 26, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
- "Plane Catches Fire At Allegheny County Airport". WTAE-TV. April 5, 2010. Archived from the original on April 8, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- D'Costa, Ian (May 12, 2015). "The Ghost Bomber of the Monongahela River". http://tacairnet.com. The Tactical Air Network. Retrieved September 12, 2015. External link in
- Historic Landmark Plaques 1968–2009 (PDF). Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- "POST, GATTY PRAISE AIRPORT". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. July 30, 1931. Retrieved September 12, 2015.