Original midfield terminal architect: Airport’s $1.1 billion modernization ‘doesn’t make sense’

Mark Belko | Monday, April 15, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The architect behind the midfield terminal is urging Pittsburgh International Airport leadership to abandon a $1.1 billion modernization plan, arguing that the project is unnecessary and could end up costing even more than expected.

In an open letter to the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Tasso Katselas has raised a series of concerns about the project, which would involve closing the existing landside building and erecting a new one to handle ticketing, security, and baggage claim.

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Six new stores landing at Pittsburgh International Airport

Mark Belko | Monday, February 18, 2019, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Six new specialty stores -— selling everything from candies to socks — are touching down at Pittsburgh International Airport over the next month or so.

Fraport Pittsburgh, operator of the airport’s Airmall, announced the additions to the boarding terminal Monday.

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After series of setbacks, CEO of Pittsburgh International Airport isn’t panicking

Mark Belko | Wednesday, December 5, 2018, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

After a series of big wins over the past few years, recent months have not been as kind to Pittsburgh International Airport.

Delta Air Lines dumped its seasonal flight to Paris in September. OneJet has stopped flying altogether. Frontier will end its twice-weekly flight to San Diego in January, with plans to resume it on a seasonal basis — at some point.

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Pittsburgh International CEO: ‘We’ll be ready’ if light rail to airport ever happens

Theresa Clift | Wednesday, April 4, 2018, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

There might still be hope for a long-discussed idea to extend Port Authority of Allegheny County’s light-rail system nearly 20 miles to Pittsburgh International Airport.

In response to an audience question at Wednesday’s annual “State of the Airport” event at the Westin Convention Center, Downtown, Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis said the plan for the airport’s new landside terminal includes right-of-way access for a light-rail connection.

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Pittsburgh International Airport’s $1.1B project prepares for takeoff

Theresa Clift and Tom Rontaine | Tuesday, September 12, 2017, Tribune Review

Allegheny County Airport Authority officials on Tuesday announced a proposed $1.1 billion overhaul that includes building a new landside terminal attached to Pittsburgh International Airport’s existing airside terminal, eliminating a tram between the two facilities and opening up more space for private developers.

The current landside terminal could be redeveloped or torn down, while the airside terminal would be renovated and redesigned to provide 51 gates for airlines — about a dozen more than are being used today. The existing terminals are 25 years old.

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Access to Pittsburgh airport’s shops and restaurants to open to nonpassengers

Tom Fontaine | Monday, August 28, 2017, Tribune Review

A pilot program being announced Monday afternoon will allow nonpassengers to go through security checkpoints at Pittsburgh International Airport to access shops and restaurants in the airside terminal, according to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair.

Such access has been off-limits to most nonpassengers since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Up in the air: Bold moves at airport should not be irreversible

The Editorial Board | Tuesday, August 22, 2017, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Allegheny County Airport Authority is right to be thinking big about changes to improve Pittsburgh International Airport. A proposed master plan will be available in the months ahead and, as the Post-Gazette’s Mark Belko reported last week, it might contain the idea of mothballing the landside terminal. While everyone associated with the airport was quick to emphasize that such a move was pure speculation at this point, it’s not too early to discourage drastic changes to the facility that could be irreversible. It would be folly to disable permanently a vital element of the airport that allows for future growth.

The landside terminal contains ticketing, baggage services and TSA security; travellers take a tram to the X-shaped main terminal to board the planes and, time permitting, shop at the above-average selection of stores. The idea floated last week would call for the main terminal somehow to be adapted for all purposes.

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Podcast – C&G’s “The Public Forum” on KQV 1410 – December 8, 2014

In case you missed it, here is the Podcast from our December 8, 2014 show.

Hosts were Rob Vescio and Nello Giorgetti from C&G and the guests were Michelle Figlar, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (“PAEYC”) and Vince Gastgeb, Assistant Vice President Corporate & Government Affairs for the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Our next show will air on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 7:30 PM. The guest will be Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive.

Hope you will join us!

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If you have questions please contact Michelle Vezzani at MVezzani@cohenlaw.com or the public affairs professional with whom you work.

Tonight on “The Public Forum” on KQV Radio 1410

The Public Forum is a monthly KQV Radio Talk Show where hosts from our Cohen & Grigsby Public Affairs Team and various guests discuss current topics impacting Harrisburg and D.C. and the business community.

Our Hosts for tonight’s show are Rob Vescio and Nello Giorgetti with guests, Michelle Figlar, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Association for Education of Young Children (“PAEYC”) and Vince Gastgeb, Assistant Vice President of Corporate and Government Affairs for the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

We hope you will listen tonight at 8:00 PM at 1410 AM, KQV.

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If you have questions please contact Michelle Vezzani at MVezzani@cohenlaw.com or the public affairs professional with whom you work.

Sun Air Express to Expand Service in Pittsburgh

Cohen & Grigsby’s Public Affairs worked with the Allegheny County Airport Authority to add commuter air service carrier Sun Air Express to the Pittsburgh International Airport. Sun Air Express will launch direct commuter flights from Pittsburgh International Airport to Pennsylvania regional airports in Lancaster, Bradford, Franklin, and Altoona. In addition, service to markets outside of Pennsylvania, including Jamestown Airport in New York, will be announced shortly. Lancaster service will begin in November, 2014. The Cohen & Grigsby team worked closely with County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Airport Authority officials, and our State and Federal Elected Officials. Everyone was on hand to announce the project October 22nd.  http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7011094-74/pittsburgh-routes-airport

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If you have questions please contact Michelle Vezzani at MVezzani@cohenlaw.com or the public affairs professional with whom you work.

August 2014 – From the Governor’s Office

On August 6, Governor Corbett announced that he would make an advance payment of $265 million to the Philadelphia School District.  The City of Philadelphia has been lobbying for a cigarette tax to provide new revenues for the Philadelphia School District.  The Senate and House could not reach an agreement on legislation authorizing this tax before the state legislature recessed in July.  The state legislature may consider this legislation when it returns in September.

Also on August 14, Governor Corbett announced funding from multiple state agencies for the redevelopment of a brownfield site at the Pittsburgh International Airport.  The funding will help establish the new Pittsburgh International Airport World Trade Center, which includes sites for more than one million square feet of office space, 90,000 square feet for research and development, a 400-room hotel with convention space, and space for up to six corporate hangers.