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Airport travel is up, but not yet rivaling pre-pandemic passenger volume

90.5 WESA

On today’s episode of The Confluence: 

Pittsburgh International Airport to see an increase in passengers this year
(0:00 - 9:13)

In 2019, the Pittsburgh International Airport saw around 8.1 million passengers. With Thanksgiving this week and other holidays around the corner, more passengers are flying again; a promising sign that passengers are returning to pre-pandemic numbers.

Despite this increase, airline schedules are down by 20% and a national pilot shortage is affecting airports across the country.

“It’s causing problems in the fact that we want more capacity. And when there is less capacity available, then fewer people can fly… we are working closely with our airline partners to reinstate particularly long haul service,” says Christina Cassotis, CEO of Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Regardless of the ongoing issues, Cassotis says she still expects passengers to return to pre-pandemic numbers by 2024.

The airport is also undergoing big renovations this year from adding a terminal to breaking ground for a new cargo facility. Cassotis expects the new facility to be fully operational by next year.

Democrats control of the state House could change next year
(9:20 - 16:52)

Democrats havetaken control of the Pennsylvania House for the 2023, 2024 legislative session by a one seat margin. The party won 102 seats, giving them control of the 203-member chamber for the first time in a decade.

But Democrat’s control could change when the new session begins in January as three Democratic seats will hold special elections next year.

“Republicans could try to make a play if they wanted. I don't know how that would go, particularly given the election results that went so well for Democrats,” says Stephen Caruso, Spotlight PA’s capitol reporter.

In the meantime, the House is still in need of a speaker. Caruso says Republicans could nominate a speaker but would need 102 votes to pass legislation. For now, Caruso says both sides will need to work together to get anything done in the coming months.

Carnegie Mellon graduate Sheldon Epps has a new memoir out
(16:58 - 22:30)

Sheldon Epps is an acclaimed theater and television director with credits from Broadway to the sitcom “Friends.” He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University 50 years ago. His new memoir is titled “My Own Directions: A Black Man’s Journey in the American Theatre.”

On a visit to Pittsburgh last week, Epps spoke with 90.5 WESA’s Bill O’Driscoll, who asked how CMU shaped him artistically.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

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