Pittsburgh International Airport

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Pittsburgh International Airport
Pittsburgh International Airport 2016 logo.svg
Pittsburgh International Airport aerial view.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic / military
OwnerAllegheny County
OperatorAllegheny County Airport Authority
ServesPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
LocationFindlay Township and Moon Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Hub forSouthern Airways Express[1] Wiggins Airways
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL1,202 ft / 366 m
Coordinates40°29′46″N 80°14′46″W / 40.496°N 80.246°W / 40.496; -80.246Coordinates: 40°29′46″N 80°14′46″W / 40.496°N 80.246°W / 40.496; -80.246
WebsiteFlyPittsburgh.com
Maps
FAA Airport Diagram
FAA Airport Diagram
PIT is located in Pennsylvania
PIT
PIT
Location of airport in Pennsylvania
PIT is located in the United States
PIT
PIT
PIT (the United States)
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10R/28L 11,500 3,505 Concrete
10C/28C 10,775 3,284 Asphalt/concrete
10L/28R 10,502 3,201 Asphalt/concrete
14/32 8,101 2,469 Concrete
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 60 18 Concrete
Statistics (2020)
Total Passengers[2]3,649,270 (-62.7%)
Total Operations91,803 (-38.0%)
Total Cargo157,603,283 (-4.8%)
Sources: FAA,[3] ACI,[4] PIT Aiport Website[5]

Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT, ICAO: KPIT, FAA LID: PIT), formerly Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, is a civil–military international airport in Findlay Township and Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Located about 10 miles (15 km) west of downtown Pittsburgh, it is the primary international airport serving the Greater Pittsburgh Region as well as adjacent areas in West Virginia and Ohio. The airport is owned and operated by the Allegheny County Airport Authority and sees numerous flights a day to destinations throughout North America.[6] PIT has four runways and covers 10,000 acres (4,000 ha).[3]

First opened in 1952, the airport was initially served by five airlines and became a small hub for Trans World Airlines for over two decades. The airport underwent a massive $1 billion rebuilding and expansion which was completed in 1992 and became a major hub for US Airways. The new airport was one of the most innovative in the world, dubbed the "airport of the future" by the New York Times,[7] and helped to pioneer modern airport design with its X-shape to reduce distance between gates, underground tram to transport passengers around the airport, and array of shopping options, all of which were cutting-edge at the time.[8][9] Traffic peaked at 20 million passengers in the late 1990s, but US Airways, which was facing bankruptcy, abandoned it as a hub in 2004, eliminating thousands of jobs and nearly bankrupting the airport itself, which was built largely to suit US Airways' needs.[10][11]

The airport experienced a resurgence in the 2010s, doubling the number of carriers to 16 as the Allegheny County Airport Authority has aggressively courted airlines and lobbied for new passenger routes.[10] Southwest Airlines has increased its presence at the airport in recent years, overtaking American Airlines (which bought US Air) as the largest carrier in terms of passengers.[12] American Airlines still has an aircraft maintenance base at Pittsburgh. The airport is also a hub for regional carrier Southern Airways Express. Cargo operations have increased at the airport in recent years.[13]

In 2017, the airport became the first in the country to reopen access to the post-security terminal for individuals who are not flying, as long as they can pass through security, after the federal government lifted restrictions put in place after 9/11.[14]

The airport is currently undergoing a $1.39 billion renovation[15] which will include a new terminal for check-in, security, and baggage claim adjacent to the gates.[16] The renovation will eliminate the need for the tram and increase the number of parking spaces. Officials emphasized that the renovations would make the airport more suited to Pittsburgh, rather than to US Airways.[17] First announced in 2017 with an estimated completion in 2023,[18] the project was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It resumed in 2021 and is now projected to open in 2025.[19] The project will not use any local tax dollars, and airlines will pay most of the costs.[20] The airport is also currently constructing its own microgrid which will use natural gas and solar power and be the primary power source for the airport,[21] which will make it the first US airport to be powered entirely by a microgrid and protect it from power outages.[22]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Until the beginning of World War II, Moon Township was mostly a rural agricultural area. It was not considered a suburb of downtown Pittsburgh as it was too distant. It was served solely by Pittsburgh-based state and federal services and media. In the early 1920s, John A. Bell of Carnegie purchased a number of small farms in Moon and established a commercial dairy farm on his 1,900 acres (8 km2) of land. He was bought out by E.E. Rieck and his wife, and C.F. Nettrour, owners of the established Rieck's Dairy. They doubled the number of cattle at the farm.

Around 1940, the federal government, through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), determined that the Pittsburgh area needed a military airport to defend the industrial wealth of the area and to provide a training base and stop-over facility. The administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt was continuing to invest in infrastructure across the country in the waning years of the Great Depression, before the US entered World War II, which had started in 1939. The agricultural expanses of Moon Township were attractive to airport planners in the city. The Civil Aeronautics Administration proposed $2.6 million to the county for a $6 million field in August 1941 ($45.2 million and $104 million present day dollars).[23] The county bought the Bell Farm, and federal agencies began construction of the runways on 20 April 1942, after the US had entered the war.

In 1944, Allegheny County officials proposed to expand the military airport with the addition of a commercial passenger terminal to relieve the Allegheny County Airport, which was built in 1926 and was becoming too small. Ground was broken on the new passenger terminal on 18 July 1946. The new terminal would eventually cost $33 million ($318 million present day dollars) and was built entirely by Pittsburgh-area companies. The new airport, christened as Greater Pittsburgh Airport (renamed Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in 1972 upon the opening of the International Arrivals Building) opened on 31 May 1952. The first flight was on 3 June 1952. In its first full year of operation in 1953, more than 1.4 million passengers used the terminal. "Greater Pitt" was then considered modern and spacious. The airport terminal was the largest in the United States, second only to Idlewild Airport's (now JFK Airport) in New York when it was completed five years later.[24][25] The airport's capacity is one of its most valuable assets.

A replica of PIT's original terrazzo compass located in the new main terminal

The airport was designed by local architect Joseph W. Hoover. One of the features of his style is the use of simple, exposed concrete, steel, and glass materials. The terminal building was constructed in "stepped" levels: the first floor extended farther than the second, the second floor extended farther than the third, etc. Such a design meant that the uncovered roof of the lower level could be an observation deck. In addition to the observation decks, the rounded "Horizon Room" was on the fourth floor with a commanding view of the airport. The interior of the terminal building was in the contemporary International Style, as was the exterior. One of the memorable features of the lobby was the large compass laid in the floor with green and yellow-orange terrazzo. A mobile by Alexander Calder was another decorative feature of the lobby. The mobile hangs in the center core of the new airside terminal. A re-creation of the compass was installed in the new terminal at an exhibit dedicated to old "Greater Pitt".

Growth and hub years[edit]

The first five airlines of the Greater Pittsburgh Airport were TWA, Capital Airlines (later part of United), Northwest, All American (later Allegheny Airlines, then USAir, and finally US Airways), and Eastern Airlines. The April 1957 Airline Guide shows 58 weekday departures on Capital, 54 TWA, 18 Allegheny, 8 United, 7 Eastern, 4 Northwest, 3 American and 2 Lake Central. Eastern had nonstops to Miami, but westward nonstops did not reach beyond St Louis. TWA had an overnight Lockheed 1049G Super Constellation nonstop from Los Angeles ("Berths Available"). The first jets were TWA 707s on the LAX-ORD-PIT round trip in summer 1959.

The 1956 diagram shows runway 10/28 7500 ft, 5/23 5766 ft and 14/32 5965 ft. The longest runway was still 7500 ft when jets started in 1959 but was soon extended to 8000 ft. The 10500-ft runway 10L was added by 1965.

In 1959, the east dock was added to the terminal, and on 25 July 1959, TWA started Boeing 707 flights. On 1 July 1968, international airport status was obtained with the dedication of the first customs office at the complex.[26] Ground was broken for the International Wing, west of the original terminal building, on 8 July 1970. It opened in 1972 to accommodate federal inspection services; international flights (Nordair 737s YUL-YHM-PIT) began in 1971–72.

Greater Pittsburgh Airport circa 1977

From the 1960s to about 1985, Trans World Airlines had a small hub at Pittsburgh. It began direct transatlantic flights in May 1981, to London Heathrow via PHL and nonstop to Gatwick. Neither lasted long; the next transatlantic nonstop may have been USAir's 767 to Frankfurt about 1990.[27] The nonstop Frankfurt service was revived by foreign carrier Condor in 2017 but was terminated in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The flight was flown two times a week using a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.

In 1985, the first transatlantic flight on a foreign airline came to Pittsburgh: British Airways Boeing 747-200s. The initial route was Pittsburgh to London–Heathrow via Washington, D.C. The stop was later changed to Philadelphia. Later, British Airways moved the non-stop flight to London–Gatwick, with a change to London–Heathrow again with a stop in Montreal during the winter. The airline ended service at Pittsburgh on 31 October 1999. In 2000, US Airways picked up the route to London–Gatwick but canceled it in 2004. British Airways announced it would return to Pittsburgh in April 2019 with four weekly flights from London Heathrow on their 787-8 aircraft. In 2020 British Airways terminated the route due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 1972, rotundas were added to the end of each dock to allow more gates. In the later 1970s growth in regional air travel created a need for more gates. In 1980 the South East Dock was opened. Even with these expansions, the terminal was too small.

In 1987, with the financial backing of USAir (then the dominant carrier in Pittsburgh), work commenced on a billion-dollar expansion. On 1 October 1992, the new complex opened, with operations having been transferred overnight from the old terminal. (The old terminal was kept until 1999 to house remaining operations offices.) The new terminal had numerous innovative features, including an AirMall, with more than 100 retailers and eateries (more defined in Passenger Complex section of this article). The new Landside/Airside design construction eliminated the need for connecting passengers to go through security more than once.

The Airside Terminal at Pittsburgh International, which was designed by Tasso Katselas Associates, Inc.,[28] became a model for other airports around the world. Its design simplified aircraft movement on the airfield and enabled easy pedestrian traffic to the gates.

The May 1995 timetable shows USAir nonstops from PIT to 91 airports, plus 28 more on USAir Express. By the late 1990s growth had leveled off, with USAir concentrating on expanding at Philadelphia and Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. In 1997 the airport handled almost 21 million passengers, more than any previous year.[29][30]

Tough economic conditions for airlines at the start of the 21st century, the September 11 attacks, and high operating costs at the airport put the US Airways hub in Pittsburgh at a serious disadvantage. By 2003, US Airways reported to be running a $40 million loss per year ($55.6 million present day dollars) operating its hub at Pittsburgh,[31] while also paying roughly 80% of the new airport's $673 million debt ($935 million present day dollars) stemming from its requested construction of the new terminals.[32]

After failed negotiations to lower landing fees and debt obligation, the airline announced in 2004 that it would be reducing operations at Pittsburgh, shifting hub operations to Charlotte and Philadelphia.[33] By the end of 2005 the airline had eliminated 7,000 jobs while operating roughly 200 flights per day, mostly domestic.[34] It ceased all service to Europe. A year later, US Airways had only about 170 flights per day to and from Pittsburgh, most being domestic flights.[35] Unrelenting flight and job cuts continued through the decade; accompanied by the airline's closure of Concourse E on the Landside Terminal and Concourse A on the Airside Terminal. By the end of the decade, US Airways had reduced to 68 flights per day, operating from ten gates on Concourse B, and one US Airways Club location. Numerous US Airways ticketing and customer service counters were abandoned, and 15 gates on Concourse A and B were sealed off from the rest of the airport.[36]

Post-hub growth[edit]

Airside Terminal, with the Alexander Calder mobile Pittsburgh on display in center

While US Airways made immense cuts in service during the early 21st century, other carriers began to play a more dominant role at PIT. The airport's operator, the Allegheny County Airport Authority, has attempted to attract new service to the airport, particularly low-cost and international carriers.

AirTran Airways, which had trouble competing in Pittsburgh after beginning service in 2000, was able to expand Pittsburgh offerings after the US Airways cuts. In 2003, USA3000 Airlines began service to Florida and subsequently expanded to include international destinations in the Caribbean. Southwest Airlines began service to Pittsburgh in May 2005 and broke US Airways's monopolies on Tampa, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia, and brought more competition to the Chicago and Orlando markets. JetBlue Airways began service in June 2006 with flights to Boston-Logan and New York-JFK, thus in turn breaking US Airways' monopoly on Boston and adding more competition to the New York market. Myrtle Beach Direct Air began service in March 2007. Combined increases in competition and diversification of carriers at the airport led to a decline in average airfares by roughly 30%, lowering notoriously high fares once commonplace for the airport.[31]

In 2014, regional carrier Sun Air Express designated Pittsburgh as a hub, offering Essential Air Service flights from the airport to five small airports in Pennsylvania and New York, such as Lancaster.[37] In 2016, Sun Air was acquired by Southern Airways Express.[38] Pittsburgh is still a hub for Southern Airways, which connects small airports in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Pittsburgh and also offers interline service with American Airlines. Boutique Air also offers EAS service between Pittsburgh and other small airports in Pennsylvania.

In May 2015, it was announced that Southwest Airlines was looking into expanding in Pittsburgh and possibly designating it as a focus city.[39] Southwest is currently the airport's largest carrier by number of passengers, and in 2021 a Southwest vice president reiterated that the airline was committed to Pittsburgh and considering expansion.[40]

In September 2015, Toronto based regional carrier Porter Airlines began daily non-stop service from Pittsburgh to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,[41] however the route was discontinued in September 2017.[42]

Pittsburgh has also been successful in attracting ultra low-cost airlines to the region. Allegiant Air commenced service in February 2015 and has been expanding ever since, establishing a base of operations in Pittsburgh on 24 December 2015, and serving nine destinations as of December 2016.[43] Frontier Airlines also began service to five destinations in June 2016, although service was cut back to three destinations just four months later. Spirit Airlines commenced service to seven destinations between May 2017 and July 2017.[44]

The airport has also had success in attracting additional domestic flights. Allegiant Air announced new nonstop service to Knoxville.[45] Pittsburgh's growing reputation as a technology focused city also helped secure new connections to other technology hubs: a Delta route to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, a second daily United flight to San Francisco International Airport, and an Alaska Airlines route to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.[46][47] In February 2020, Contour Airlines announced its entry into the Pittsburgh market with a nonstop route to Indianapolis to begin in spring 2020,[48] but it was indefinitely delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

From 5 September 2017, non-ticketed persons were allowed to access the airside terminal and gates, similar to pre-9/11 policy. Pittsburgh was the first airport (since 9/11) in the nation to allow non-passengers to pass through security to dine and shop in a post-security terminal. Participants can sign up for myPITpass on the airport's website and must pass through the alternate security checkpoint before continuing through to the Airmall in the airside terminal.[14]

The airport became one of the first in the United States to use a new TSA system called Credential Authentication Technology, which phases out the use of boarding passes at TSA security checkpoints in favor of a stronger system that verifies passengers based solely on a government-issued ID.[49]

In March 2019, British Airways announced it was returning nonstop round-trip service to Heathrow Airport from Pittsburgh on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which began the following April. Simon Brooks, an executive at British Airways, noted, "Pittsburgh is the perfect example of a city that is really prospering in so many different industries and whether it is tech or health care, the amount of universities and the amount of education programs you have here, so many great compelling reasons on a corporate but also on a vacation and leisure angle as well." He also hoped that Pittsburgh residents would use the direct route to Heathrow to connect to more international destinations, specifically noting Germany, Italy, and India. Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald noted that British Airways would be receiving $3,000,000 in state tax dollars, but stated the region would receive a $57,000,000 economic boost because of British Airways' return.[50]

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic led to severe drops in traffic from the airport, as much as 95%.[51] It also led to the delay of the airport modernization project.[52] Monthly enplanements bottomed out at 32,415 for the month of April 2020.[53] Fraport Pittsburgh, operator of the airport's Airmall, closed 61 of 72 shops and restaurants.[54] American Airlines and Republic Airways parked more than 100 planes at Pittsburgh International after cutting flights out of their schedules.[55] Airport officials estimated they could store about 140 planes on unused taxiways, runways, deicing pads, and other surfaces.[56] The parked planes included American's Airbus A319, A320, A321, and wide-body A330 aircraft, as well as American's smaller Embraer E-190 Republic's E-170 jets.[57] Also due to the coronavirus, Spirit Airlines began flights between Pittsburgh and Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, about 60 miles away in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, as part of a triangular route to Orlando in order to consolidate passengers going to Orlando onto one flight.[58] Alaska Airlines also modified its nonstop service from Pittsburgh to Seattle to begin in Baltimore, stop in Pittsburgh, and continue to Seattle.[58] The airport became the first US airport to deploy robotic floor scrubbers that use UV-C light to disinfect high-traffic areas.[59] Traffic rebounded somewhat over the summer and the airport finished 2020 with 3.649 million passengers.[60]

Despite the drop in traffic, several airlines added new routes to leisure destinations. Southwest, United, American, and Allegiant added routes from Pittsburgh to several beach cities in Florida, as well as cities like Portland, Maine and New Orleans in 2020 and 2021.[61]

Future[edit]

In September 2017, Allegheny County Airport Authority officials announced a $1.1 billion plan to reconfigure the terminal complex, including a new landside terminal and a new parking garage. Under this proposal, the current landside building would be demolished if another use is not found, and the number of gates be reduced from 75 down to 51. A new landside building would be constructed between the airside terminal's concourses C and D, with new security and baggage facilities, a new international arrivals area, and many other amenities to serve passengers. The board chairman of the Airport Authority, David Minnotte, said that "The people of Pittsburgh finally get an airport built for them and not USAir". No taxpayer dollars would be used to construct the new facility, and it will be instead financed with floating bonds, grants, passenger facility charges, and revenue from natural gas drilling on airport property.[62] Construction was expected to begin in summer 2020 and the new terminal was slated to open in 2023.[63] However, in April 2020 airport officials decided to delay the selling of bonds and start of construction due to the coronavirus pandemic.[52] In February 2021, airport officials announced early site and construction work would begin in spring 2021 with a projected finish in 2024 and opening in 2025.[19] The budget was raised to $1.39 billion in 2021. The airlines serving the airport agreed to fund $182 million in construction site preparation work for the project.[15]

Facilities[edit]

Runways[edit]

PIT has a wide, open layout and four runways: three east-west parallel runways and a fourth crosswind runway. The airport's two longest runways are 11,500 feet (3,510 m) and 10,775 feet (3,280 m), allowing PIT to accommodate the largest airliners. Because of the development of non-aviation related business on airport land, PIT can add only one more runway (this number was as high as four in the past). With three parallel runways, simultaneous landings and/or departures can be performed in nearly any situation.[64]

Runways 10L and 10R have Category III ILS (Instrument Landing System) approaches. Runway 28R is certified for Category I ILS and is authorized for Category II approaches but requires special aircrew and aircraft certification. Runways 28L and 32 have Category I ILS approaches. All runways have GPS approaches as well.

Terminal[edit]

Part of the Landside Terminal ticketing area

The airport complex consists of two main buildings, the "Landside Terminal" and the "Airside Terminal". The terminal consists of 75 gates on four concourses; however, only 56 gates are available for use.[65] After passing through the security checkpoint, passengers board one of two underground people movers that travel to the Airside Terminal, where all departure gates are located. All international arrivals, except for cities with United States border preclearance, pass through Concourse C. American Airlines has an Admirals Club on the mezzanine level of the airside terminal.[66] The Club Lounge opened in October 2017 and is located in the C Concourse across from gate C-52 near the center core.[67]

  • Concourse A contains 25 gates.
  • Concourse B contains 25 gates.
  • Concourse C contains 11 gates.
  • Concourse D contains 14 gates.

Ground transportation[edit]

PIT is located at Exit 53 of Interstate 376 and the Western Terminus Pennsylvania Route 576 (future I-576), and within 10 miles (20 km) of Interstate 79 and 15 miles (24 km) of Interstate 76, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Interstate 70 to the south and Interstate 80 to the north are both less than an hour away. Just beyond Interstates 70 and 80, Interstate 77 to the west and Interstate 68 to the south are within 90 minutes of the airport.

PIT offers on-site parking operated by the Grant Oliver Corporation and patrolled by the Allegheny County Police. Grant Oliver offers a GO FAST Pass account to pay for parking electronically via E-ZPass, with billing and other aspects of the system handled by Grant Oliver.[68] There are regular parking shuttles to the Long Term and Extended lots[69] that can be accessed from the Baggage Claim level of the Landside Terminal outside doors six and eight. There are three options for parking: Short Term, Long Term, and Extended. The Short Term garage is attached to the Landside Terminal via the enclosed moving walkway. There are 2,100 spaces available. The Long Term section also has quick access to the enclosed moving walkway. There are 3,100 spaces available here. The Extended section has an outdoor walkway that leads to the enclosed moving walkway and also has regular parking shuttles that can be accessed from the Baggage Claim level of the Landside Terminal outside doors six and eight. There are 8,000 spaces available in the Extended lot.[69]

Bus service is also available from Downtown Pittsburgh and the city's University District (Oakland) via the Port Authority of Allegheny County's 28X Route. Mountain Line Transit's Grey Line also has service to areas south of Pittsburgh including Waynesburg, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, Fairmont, and Clarksburg, West Virginia.[70] BCTA Transit formerly served locations north and westbound from the airport. The Pittsburgh Light Rail currently does not stop at the airport.

Cargo[edit]

Pittsburgh International Airport has a sizeable freight business, with a Free-trade zone of 5,000 acres (20 km2), access to three class-one railroad freight lines, one interstate highway, and a location a few miles from the nation's second largest inland port.[71] The airport's three largest cargo carriers account for over 100 million pounds (45 million kg) of freight per year.[72] Three cargo buildings provide more than 183,000 square feet (17,001 m2) of warehouse capacity and over 450,000 square feet (41,806 m2) of apron space.[73]

The world's leading caterer for air and business, LSG SkyChefs, in 2007 chose Pittsburgh as its sole Western Hemisphere manufacturing facility. It expanded its customer service center on the cargo side of the airport by 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) and now employs over 100 people with the capacity of making nearly 25 million meals per year for distribution to flights all over the Americas.[74] LSG SkyChefs cited the region's strategic location for air and truck transport to major suppliers and customers, as well as the airport's excellent record in maintaining and expanding capacity.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
Air Canada Express Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson [75]
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma [76]
Allegiant Air Charleston (SC), Jacksonville (FL), Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota, Savannah, St. Petersburg/Clearwater, West Palm Beach
Seasonal: Austin, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Key West (begins June 3, 2021),[77] Memphis, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk (begins June 3, 2021),[77] Rapid City (begins August 5, 2021)[78]
[79]
American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Washington–National
[80]
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Washington–National
Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth, Orlando (begins June 5, 2021)[81]
[80]
Boutique Air Altoona [82]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Salt Lake City (resumes December 19, 2021)
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
[83]
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia [83]
Frontier Airlines Denver
Seasonal: Orlando
[84]
JetBlue Boston, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach [85]
Southern Airways Express Bradford, DuBois (PA), Lancaster (PA), Morgantown (WV) [86]
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach (begins May 29, 2021),[87] Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, St. Louis, Tampa
Seasonal: Cancún (resumes June 12, 2021),[88] New Orleans, Sarasota
[89]
Spirit Airlines Cancún, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Tampa
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach
[90]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco
Seasonal: Washington–Dulles
[91]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Charleston (SC) (begins May 28, 2021),[87] Hilton Head (begins May 27, 2021),[87] Fort Myers, Pensacola (begins May 27, 2021),[87] Portland (ME) (begins May 27, 2021)[87]
[91]

Cargo[edit]

AirlinesDestinationsRefs
Amazon Air Ft. Worth [92]
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis, Baltimore
FedEx Feeder State College
Finnair Cargo Helsinki
Qatar Airways Cargo Dhaka, Ostend
UPS Airlines Louisville, Philadelphia

Qatar Airways Cargo began running direct flights to Pittsburgh in 2017, partially subsidized by the airport authority. Those flights ended in 2019. In 2020, Qatar Airways resumed cargo flights to Pittsburgh, this time without any subsidies from the airport.[93]

In September 2020, Cathay Pacific began 12 weeks of cargo service between Pittsburgh and Hong Kong.[94]

Statistics[edit]

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from PIT (February 2020 - January 2021)[95]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 137,000 Delta, Southwest
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 135,000 American
3 Orlando, Florida 112,000 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
4 Denver, Colorado 95,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
5 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 85,000 American, United
6 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 84,000 American
7 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 67,000 JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit
8 Tampa, Florida 60,000 Southwest, Spirit
9 Las Vegas, Nevada 47,000 Southwest, Spirit
10 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 46,000 Southwest

Airline market share[edit]

Largest airlines at PIT
(November 2019 - October 2020)
[96]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 1,208,000 26.84%
2 American Airlines 671,000 14.90%
3 Republic Airways 552,000 12.28%
4 Delta Airlines 417,000 9.27%
5 Spirit Airlines 415,000 9.23%

Annual traffic[edit]

See source Wikidata query and sources.


Accidents and incidents[edit]

Date Airline Aircraft type Description
10 February 2021 Delta Air Lines Boeing 717 Slid off the taxiway before takeoff during snowy weather. All 77 passengers deplaned the aircraft safely with no injuries reported.[97]
28 July 2011 U.S. Army Lockheed Martin "HALE-D" An unmanned U.S. Army/Lockheed Martin experimental "HALE-D" airship that took off at 5 am at Wright Patterson Air Force Base crash landed from 32,000 feet at 8:30 am south of the airport between New Freeport and Gilmore.[98]
22 November 2001 Corporate Learjet Crashed after a rapid takeoff in which it went "nose-high" before the Pilot Flying (PF) lost control, both on board were killed.[99][100]
8 September 1994 USAir Flight 427 Boeing 737-300 Crashed on approach from Chicago O'Hare International Airport. All 132 people on board were killed. It resulted in the longest and most thorough NTSB investigation in history. It was determined that a lock occurred in rudder control that caused the plane to fall uncontrollably from 6,000 feet (1,800 m). Boeing has retrofitted every 737 because of the data gathered from this crash. The plane crashed roughly 10 miles (16 km) North-Northwest in Hopewell Township.
31 July 1969 Trans World Airlines Flight 79 Boeing 727 The plane was hijacked en route from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles International Airport by bank robber Lester Perry Jr. who was being transferred to a new prison. Though accompanied by a U.S. marshal and a correctional officer, Perry was allowed to go to the lavatory unaccompanied where he found a razor blade. He then held hostage a flight attendant and demanded to be taken to Havana, Cuba. Upon landing at José Martí International Airport he sought political asylum from the Cuban government.[101]
1 April 1956 TWA Flight 400 Martin 4-0-4 This was a flight from Pittsburgh to Newark. It crashed about a half-mile after taking off when the Captain and First Officer did not immediately correct a small engine malfunction/fire. Due to miscommunication and lack of focus it caused failure and a crash. Twenty-two of 36 occupants were killed.[102]
19 February 1956 US Air Force Republic F-84F Thunderstreak A Republic F-84F Thunderstreak crashed into a field behind Holy Trinity Church after an engine flameout during a training flight. The pilot, Thomas W. Sonnett, did not eject because he feared his aircraft would cause ground fatalities. After the crash, he was pulled from the jet and rushed to Ohio Valley General Hospital, where he died from his injuries. He was just 32 years old.
31 January 1956 U.S. Air Force B-25 Mitchell 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 14 February 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.[103]
22 December 1954 Military Charter Douglas DC-3 Ditched in the Monongahela River with 28 men on board after the pilot reported running out of fuel. 10 perished.[104]
13 July 1950 Private Beechcraft Commander Two killed and one injured in a crash at Montour Country Club after engine failure.[105]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]