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Development & Transportation

Airport Authority To Spend $1B Updating Pittsburgh International By 2023

A plan was unveiled Tuesday by the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA) to modernize the 25-year-old Pittsburgh International Airport. 

The Authority plans to spend $1.1 billion to reshape the facility by creating a new landside terminal, expand the security checkpoint, and streamline the baggage retrieval process.

The updated design will also eliminate unused space, modernize outdated facilities and reduce long-term costs by focusing on sustainability. Integrating modern technology throughout the terminal will be another chunk of the renovation, as will eliminating the train.

"We are a vibrant, growing, tech-focused economy, and that is what needs to be reflected directly by the airport," ACAA CEO Christina Cassotis said.

She says a modern design will help attract more airlines and make PIT a national aviation leader. 

Renovations will be paid for by bonds, airline fees and revenue from airport shops and concessions, not taxpayer money. Officials say construction of the airport will begin in 2019 and is slated to end in 2023, and should not disrupt travel for passengers during that time.

Cassotis says the modernization brought by renovations will improve the overall traveler experience.

"We have to meet the changing needs of today's airlines, passengers and the travel industry," she said. "This is the kind of forward thinking you're going to see as we unveil this big-picture project that is emblematic of where Pittsburgh is already today."

PIT recently became the first airport to allow non-flyers to pass through security to shop and say goodbye to travelers since Sept. 11, 2001.

Officials say construction on the airport will temporarily create 10,000 jobs and generate $1.6 billion in economic activity.

(Story updated on Sept. 12, 2017 at 5:20 p.m.)