- Pittsburgh International Airport officials are gearing up for a $1.1 billion modernization, a project that will help the facility meet current forecasted capacity demands and plan for a future that does not include hosting a major airline hub, according to The Business Journal.
- Since U.S. Airways closed its Pittsburgh hub 14 years ago, the airport has focused on expanding domestic direct-flight and international markets. To accommodate that shift, crews will demolish the old U.S. Airways terminal, which was designed to handle 32 million passengers a year, and replace it with a new one that features ticketing, boarding, security, an updated international arrival area and a new parking deck. The new terminal building will cost $783.8 million, the new parking garage $258.8 million and new roadways around the airport $57.1 million. The project is expected to be complete in 2023.
- The airport is also the center of other non-flight-related economic activity. The Alleghany County Airport Authority has a 3,000-acre nonresidential development on the 8,800-acre property, and in 2014, the authority allowed Consol Energy to drill oil and gas wells on the outer edges of airport land in exchange for $46 million and an 18% royalty. A $10 billion Shell ethane cracker plant is under construction only 10 miles away from the airport.
In April, the authority announced that it had narrowed the list of potential design firms for the project down to four possibilities: AECOM; Corgan and Michael Baker; Gensler and HDR; and Luis Vidal + Architects/CannonDesign. In June, the authority hired Jacobs Project Management to oversee the new terminal project. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the authority awarded Dallas-based Jacobs a $12.8 million program management contract over five other companies competing for the job.
As part of the design, the airport could provide a sensory room in the new terminal for special needs passengers and for those with autism. The room would have calming features like special lighting and textured surfaces. If the airport moves forward with that plan, it would be only the third airport in the world to offer such a room.
Some owners of large projects, like the new terminal at the Pittsburgh airport and Bay Area Rapid Transit's $5 billion Silicon Valley Phase II extension, have opted for program managers to serve in a capacity similar to that of an industry-savvy owner's representative. According to Engineering News-Record, program managers assist with everything from planning, financing and risk assessment.