Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

PA to Put $10M Toward Airport Projects

Friday, May 21, 2021

Comment | More

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will invest $10 million in state grants for work in 12 Pennsylvania airports.

“Aviation plays a vital role in keeping our state’s economy moving,” Wolf said in the press release. “These investments will help Pennsylvania’s airports operate safely, expand to meet current demands, and sustain growth well into the future.”

Pennsylvania reportedly ranks 16th in the country in the number of public aviation facilities (airports, heliports and seaplane bases) with 124.

Allegheny County Airport Authority

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will invest $10 million in state grants for work in 12 Pennsylvania airports.

The funds will be divvied as follows:

  • $2.4 million – to Pittsburgh International Airport for continued commercial air cargo facility development, including air cargo buildings, aircraft and vehicular access and parking;
  • $187,500 – to Bedfor County Airport to replace the floor in its first unit hangar;
  • $100,000 – to Altoona-Blair County Airport for continued construction of a corporate hangar facility;
  • $150,000 – to Doylestown Airport to repave and reseal aircraft parking areas and taxiways;
  • $150,000 – to Quakertown Airport to make exterior improvements and increase the energy efficiency of the terminal building;
  • $100,000 – to John Murtha Johnstown – Cambria County Airport to continue the update of the passenger terminal facility, including energy efficiency improvements;
  • $3 million – to Carlisle Airport to help South Middleton Township acquire the currently privately-owned facility;
  • $450,000 – to DuBois Regional Airport to improve facilities including hangars, administration building and other airport structures;
  • $1.8 million – to Lehigh Valley International Airport to continue terminal connector and security checkpoint expansion as well as enhance terminal commercial development connectivity;
  • $322,500 – to Williamsport Regional Airport for site work;
  • $761,500 – also to Williamsport for construction of a 12,000-square-foot hangar complex;
  • $150,000 – to Venango Regional Airport for continued rehabilitation of the airport’s aviation fuel storage system; and
  • $450,000 - to Arnold Palmer Regional Airport for improvements to the terminal building, including informational signage, and construction of an aircraft deicing fluid containment facility.

Ongoing Work at PIT

PIT’s Terminal Modernization Program, which includes a new landside terminal, new roads, and a new building for baggage and security, was announced in September 2017.

The current facility, which cost around $900 million to construct, opened in 1992 and was built as a hub for the now-defunct US Airways. At that time, the airport saw as many as 38 million passengers a year. It has steadily decreased since then, however, and current numbers indicate right around 8 million annual passengers.

While the authority looked at a few different directions to update the airport—officials had been working on this for more than two years—building a new landside terminal was actually the cheapest option, according to Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis.

The current layout features a massive landside terminal equipped with elevators, escalators and a tram system that, nearing 30 years old, are approaching costly repairs. The tram itself (an underground train that shuttles people from landside to airside) costs $3 million a year to operate, according Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate.

The new terminal will be built in between the C and D concourses and attach to the current airside terminal, which will be updated. This will put everything basically on one level, eliminating most escalators and the tram. The “dogleg” ends of the A and B concourses will also be eliminated, leaving the number of gates open at 51, about a dozen more than what’s used today, allowing some leeway for potential growth. There is no official word on what will happen to the current landside terminal, though the authority has confirmed that it has set aside the necessary funds to demolish the structure.

The new, smaller facility is estimated to save $23 million a year in operation and maintenance costs. In addition, Cassotis said the cost per passenger would fall from an average of $12.69 to $9.73.

“It’s a win-win situation for everybody,” said Airport Authority Chairman David Minnotte at the time of the announcement. “The costs are lower for the airlines, the airport gets a new facility, that will be very efficient and modern. And, finally, this is most important for me, the people of Pittsburgh finally get an airport that is built for them, and not US Air.”

The new terminal comes with an estimated price tag of $783.8 million, in addition to the new parking garage ($258.8 million) and new roads ($57.1 million). The project will be paid for by the airlines, bonds, grants, and revenue from Marcellus shale gas drilling, parking and airport shops.

Officials estimate that more than 6,000 temporary design and construction jobs will be created, along with 4,500 “spin-off” jobs to support the purchases of supplies and services as well as spending wages earned by the workers.

Work was delayed on the project in April of 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cassotis said at the time that, while the pause in the project comes as one of the worst economic tolls that the airline industry has ever seen, it does present an opportunity to consider how the airport should be designed in a post-pandemic world.


In April 2018, the authority revealed a shortlist of design contenders, which included teams from AECOM, Corgan and Michael Baker, Gensler and HDR, and Luis Vidal + Architects/CannonDesign.

In July, multiple firms ended up with the job, as Gensler (San Francisco) entered into a joint venture with HDR (Omaha) and that agreement formed an association with Luis Vidal (Madrid).

The contract with the JV is worth a reported $15 million.

Then, in April 2019, the authority awarded more than $7 million in contracts—$3.98 million to the joint venture of PJ Dick and Hunt Construction Group Inc. and $3.17 million to Turner Construction Co.—for construction management. Both were contracts for preconstruction only.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the JV is responsible for overseeing the construction of the new $783 million landside building, roads and bridges, and the baggage handling system as well as any required utility relocations. Turner will oversee the construction of a $258.8 million parking garage of 3,000 spaces, surface lots, a new ground transportation center and rental car facilities.

Most recently, in February, the authority announced that they would being putting out bid packages to move forward with the work.

In a new timeline, heavy construction is expected to start in June, with a completion date estimated at the end of 2024 and the opening of the new terminal in 2025.


Tagged categories: Airports; Business matters; Grants; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Upcoming projects

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Axxiom Manufacturing

Western Technology Inc.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office


HoldTight Solutions Inc.


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us