Pittsburgh International Airport
Overview & History
Pittsburgh International Airport is located in Findlay Township, Pennsylvania. It is about 20 miles west of the city of Pittsburgh. During World War II, the Works Progress Administration recognized that a military airport was needed in the Pittsburgh area. Farmland west of the city was identified as an excellent place for an airport and the land was purchased to build an airport. Construction on the runways for the airport began in 1942. Around this time, certain people stated that the Allegheny County Airport, which was the commercial airport of Pittsburgh, was not big enough to handle all of the air traffic in Pittsburgh. Therefore, it was proposed that a commercial terminal be built in the same area that the military airport was located at. People liked the proposal and with approval, construction for a new terminal began in 1946. It officially opened in 1952. The new airport was called the Greater Pittsburgh Airport. When the terminal opened, it was the largest terminal in the United States. The architect who designed the airport was a local man by the name of Joseph W. Hoover.
Nearly 20 years later, ground was broken for an expansion of the terminal with a wing designed specifically for international air travel. The international wing opened in 1972. With the expansion complete, the airport was renamed the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. As time progressed, the airport grew. Air traffic increased and passengers choosing Greater Pittsburgh International Airport continued to rise. In 1987, ground was broken for a new terminal that was able to handle air traffic and passenger demands. It opened in 1992 and all flights and passengers went to the new terminal. The old terminal was destroyed in 1999. The name of the airport changed to Pittsburgh International Airport.
Terminal Information at Pittsburgh Airport
There are two terminals at the Pittsburgh International Airport. The first terminal is called the Landside Terminal. This terminal is the point of entry for passengers who are entering the airport from the Pittsburgh area. In addition to being the point of entry, Landside Terminal has the baggage claim sections, ground transportation, shops and a chapel. The second terminal is the Airside Terminal. This terminal has four concourses and is where passengers get on their planes. The concourses are Concourse A, Concourse B, Concourse C and Concourse D. Although there are 75 gates combined between all of the concourses, there are only 49 gates that are in operation. Concourse A has 25 gates, but only 12 gates are in use. Concourse B, like Concourse A, has 25 gates, but only 12 are in operation. Nearly all international flights use Concourse C. This concourse has 11 gates. In addition to this, there is a play area for children called Kidsport. The final concourse is Concourse D. It has 14 gates.
During the heyday of the Pittsburgh International Airport, there was a fifth concourse in operation at the Airside Terminal. The concourse was called Concourse E and it had 22 gates in operation. Concourse E was destroyed in the fall of 2011. Today, the site that contained Concourse E is now a parking lot.
There are four runways at the international airport in Pittsburgh. Of the four runways, three of them run east and west while the remaining one goes north and south. Two of the longest runways at the airport are 11,500 and 10,502 feet long. The shortest runway is 8,101 feet long. The remaining runway is 9,708 feet long. The longest and shortest runways are made out of concrete. The other two runways are made out of a combination of concrete and asphalt.
Airlines Serving Pittsburgh
There are three main airlines that service the Pittsburgh International Airport, though none of them actually call the airport their hub. These airlines are US Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines. Of all the different airlines that service this airport, these three have the most flights into and out of this major airport, contributing greatly to the more than 8 million passengers who fly into and out of the Pittsburgh International Airport on an annual basis.
Jet Blue Airlines, Air Canada Airlines, United Airlines, and AirTran Airways all have flights departing from the Pittsburgh International Airport. These flights head to cities around the country and Canada as well as around the world such as Toronto, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Meyers, Orlando, Dallas, Tampa, Houston, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cancun, Paris, Cincinnati, Memphis and many other cities across the world.
By far, the airline that uses the Pittsburgh International Airport the most is US Airways. This airline has 43 flights out of the airport every day, with the majority of those flights headed to Philadelphia. Delta Airlines has 27 flights out of the Pittsburgh International Airport each day, with the majority of those flights headed to Atlanta. United Airlines has 25 flights a day out of Pittsburgh. The majority of United flights head to Chicago from Pittsburgh.
The busiest destination cities out of the Pittsburgh International Airport help transport more than 8 million passengers each year. The busiest destination city out of Pittsburgh is Atlanta, with more than 446,000 passengers on AirTran and Delta flights to this city on an annual basis. Following distantly as the second busiest destination out of the Pittsburgh International Airport is Charlotte, with 332,000 passengers annually on flights by US Airways. The third busiest destination is Philadelphia by way of US Airways, which transports approximately 271,000 passengers between the cities each year.
There is only one terminal in the Pittsburgh International Airport. This terminal is referred to as the airside terminal and it has four major concourses. Concourse A is equipped with 25 different gates. Passengers flying on Southwest Airlines will use concourse A to locate flights. Concourse B also has 25 gates and services US Airways. Concourse C has 11 gates, and passengers will find airlines such as Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Jet Blue Airlines, and United Airlines in concourse C. Concourse D has 14 gates and services airlines like United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and American Airlines.