According to the airport, an updated design will allow for an expanded security checkpoint, the elimination of the costly train, a newly configured international arrivals process, the implementation of modern technology throughout the terminal and an improved baggage delivery system.
It is hoped that the upgrade will once again make Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) a leader in the use of cutting edge technology.
Built as a mega hub facility, the current airport finds itself built for the past – much too large in some areas and capacity-constrained in others.
The centrepiece of the plan involves a new landside terminal adjacent to the renovated airside terminal with 51 gates, a dozen more than are being used today. The plan does not include the use of local tax dollars.
The budget, based on early conceptual designs, is $1.1 billion. More detailed cost estimates will be available as the project reaches final design.
The project is expected to create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs and produce $1.66 billion in economic activity.
It is also expected to generate more than $28 million in state and local income taxes. Officials expect to break ground on the project in in 2019 with anticipated completion in 2023.
Allegheny County executive, Rich Fitzgerald, said: “With this modernisation of the terminal, our airport will be more efficient, there will be an enhanced customer experience, and it will be even more cost-competitive to airlines. This is a win-win for our region.”
The airport inists that the new design will allow the airport to be optimised for modern security needs.
Plans will also save the authority millions of dollars in annual operating and maintenance costs.
And it will keep airline costs stable and maintain the authority’s commitment to cost competitiveness.
The plans also call for a new parking garage and eliminates critical points of failure like the train and baggage delivery system.
A new, expanded security checkpoint will help move passengers more quickly and efficiently through the security process. A redesigned terminal will also enhance concession revenue opportunities both before and after security.
Christina Cassotis, CEO of Allegheny County Airport Authority, enthused: “We are excited to make this Pittsburgh’s airport – a facility that is optimised for the needs of the local passenger and today’s aviation environment.
"This facility gives us the ability to truly make this the gateway to our region and continues our ascent as industry leaders.
“This is about being much more operationally efficient with a technology focus to position us for the future.”
The authority has worked with its airline partners for the past three years in drafting a Master Plan, which all airports are required to file with the FAA.