Pittsburgh International Airport
Airport typePublic / military
OwnerAllegheny County
OperatorAllegheny County Airport Authority
ServesPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
LocationFindlay Township and Moon Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL1,202 ft / 366 m
Coordinates40°29′46″N 80°14′46″W / 40.496°N 80.246°W / 40.496; -80.246Coordinates: 40°29′46″N 80°14′46″W / 40.496°N 80.246°W / 40.496; -80.246

FAA Airport Diagram
Location of airport in Pennsylvania
PIT (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10R/28L 11,500 3,505 Concrete
10C/28C 10,775 3,284 Asphalt/concrete
10L/28R 10,502 3,201 Asphalt/concrete
14/32 8,101 2,469 Concrete
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 60 18 Concrete
Statistics (2020)
Total Passengers[2]3,649,270 (-62.7%)
Total Operations91,803 (-38.0%)
Total Cargo157,603,283 (-4.8%)
Sources: FAA,[3] ACI,[4] PIT Aiport Website[5]

Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT, ICAO: KPIT, FAA LID: PIT), formerly Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, is a civil–military international airport in Findlay Township and Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Located about 10 miles (15 km) west of downtown Pittsburgh, it is the primary international airport serving the Greater Pittsburgh Region as well as adjacent areas in West Virginia and Ohio. The airport is owned and operated by the Allegheny County Airport Authority and offers passenger flights to destinations throughout North America and Europe, as well as cargo flights to Asia.[6] PIT has four runways and covers 10,000 acres (4,000 ha).[3]

First opened in 1952, the airport was initially served by five airlines and became a small hub for Trans World Airlines for over two decades. The airport underwent a massive $1 billion rebuilding and expansion which was completed in 1992 and became a major hub for US Airways. The new airport was one of the most innovative in the world, dubbed the "airport of the future" by the New York Times,[7] and helped to pioneer modern airport design with its X-shape to reduce distance between gates, underground tram to transport passengers around the airport, and array of shopping options, all of which were cutting-edge at the time.[8][9] Traffic peaked at 20 million passengers in the late 1990s, and US Air peaked at 542 flights and 11,995 employees at the airport in 2001, and the airport was an important pillar of the Pittsburgh economy.[10][11] But the downturn in air travel immediately after September 11 attacks badly harmed US Airways' financial state. US Air declared chapter 11 bankruptcy twice in a row, and abandoned Pittsburgh as a hub in 2004, eliminating thousands of jobs and nearly bankrupting the airport itself, which was built largely to suit US Airways' needs.[12][13] However, US Air's diminished capacity at Pittsburgh opened the door for other airlines to expand operations and better serve local Pittsburgh-area passengers rather than focus on connecting passengers.

The airport experienced a resurgence in the 2010s, doubling the number of carriers to 16 as the Allegheny County Airport Authority has aggressively courted airlines and lobbied for new passenger routes.[12] Southwest Airlines has increased its presence at the airport in recent years, overtaking American Airlines (which US Airways acquired and merged with) as the largest carrier in terms of passengers.[14] American Airlines still has an aircraft maintenance base at Pittsburgh. The airport is also a hub for regional carrier Southern Airways Express. Cargo operations have increased at the airport in recent years.[15]

In 2017, the airport became the first in the country to reopen access to the post-security terminal for individuals who are not flying, as long as they can pass through security, after the federal government lifted restrictions put in place after 9/11.[16]

In 2021, the airport became the first in the world with its own microgrid, which provides power to the entire airport with natural gas and solar power.[17]

The airport is currently undergoing a $1.39 billion renovation[18] which will include a new terminal for check-in, security, and baggage claim adjacent to the gates.[19] The renovation will eliminate the need for the tram and increase the number of parking spaces. Officials emphasized that the renovations would make the airport more suited to Pittsburgh, rather than to US Airways.[20] First announced in 2017 with an estimated completion in 2023,[21] the project was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It resumed in 2021[22] and is now projected to open in 2024.[23] The project will not use any local tax dollars, and airlines will pay most of the costs.[24]


Early years

Until the beginning of World War II, Moon Township was mostly a rural agricultural area. It was not considered a suburb of downtown Pittsburgh as it was too distant. It was served solely by Pittsburgh-based state and federal services and media. In the early 1920s, John A. Bell of Carnegie purchased a number of small farms in Moon and established a commercial dairy farm on his 1,900 acres (8 km2) of land. He was bought out by E.E. Rieck and his wife, and C.F. Nettrour, owners of the established Rieck's Dairy. They doubled the number of cattle at the farm.

Around 1940, the federal government, through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), determined that the Pittsburgh area needed a military airport to defend the industrial wealth of the area and to provide a training base and stop-over facility. The administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt was continuing to invest in infrastructure across the country in the waning years of the Great Depression, before the US entered World War II, which had started in 1939. The agricultural expanses of Moon Township were attractive to airport planners in the city. The Civil Aeronautics Administration proposed $2.6 million to the county for a $6 million field in August 1941 ($45.7 million and $106 million present day dollars).[25] The county bought the Bell Farm, and federal agencies began construction of the runways on 20 April 1942, after the US had entered the war.

In 1944, Allegheny County officials proposed to expand the military airport with the addition of a commercial passenger terminal to relieve the Allegheny County Airport, which was built in 1926 and was becoming too small. Ground was broken on the new passenger terminal on 18 July 1946. The new terminal would eventually cost $33 million ($322 million present day dollars) and was built entirely by Pittsburgh-area companies. The new airport, christened as Greater Pittsburgh Airport (renamed Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in 1972 upon the opening of the International Arrivals Building) opened on 31 May 1952. The first flight was on 3 June 1952. In its first full year of operation in 1953, more than 1.4 million passengers used the terminal. "Greater Pitt" was then considered modern and spacious. The airport terminal was the largest in the United States, second only to Idlewild Airport's (now JFK Airport) in New York when it was completed five years later.[26][27] The airport's capacity is one of its most valuable assets.

A replica of PIT's original terrazzo compass located in the new main terminal
A replica of PIT's original terrazzo compass located in the new main terminal

The airport was designed by local architect Joseph W. Hoover. One of the features of his style is the use of simple, exposed concrete, steel, and glass materials. The terminal building was constructed in "stepped" levels: the first floor extended farther than the second, the second floor extended farther than the third, etc. Such a design meant that the uncovered roof of the lower level could be an observation deck. In addition to the observation decks, the rounded "Horizon Room" was on the fourth floor with a commanding view of the airport. The interior of the terminal building was in the contemporary International Style, as was the exterior. One of the memorable features of the lobby was the large compass laid in the floor with green and yellow-orange terrazzo. A mobile by Alexander Calder was another decorative feature of the lobby. The mobile hangs in the center core of the new airside terminal. A re-creation of the compass was installed in the new terminal at an exhibit dedicated to old "Greater Pitt".

Growth and hub years

The first five airlines of the Greater Pittsburgh Airport were TWA, Capital Airlines (later part of United), Northwest, All American (later Allegheny Airlines, then USAir, and finally US Airways), and Eastern Airlines. The April 1957 Airline Guide shows 58 weekday departures on Capital, 54 TWA, 18 Allegheny, 8 United, 7 Eastern, 4 Northwest, 3 American and 2 Lake Central. Eastern had nonstops to Miami, but westward nonstops did not reach beyond St Louis. TWA had an overnight Lockheed 1049G Super Constellation nonstop from Los Angeles ("Berths Available"). The first jets were TWA 707s on the LAX-ORD-PIT round trip in summer 1959.

The 1956 diagram shows runway 10/28 7500 ft, 5/23 5766 ft and 14/32 5965 ft. The longest runway was still 7500 ft when jets started in 1959 but was soon extended to 8000 ft. The 10500-ft runway 10L was added by 1965.

In 1959, the east dock was added to the terminal, and on 25 July 1959, TWA started Boeing 707 flights. On 1 July 1968, international airport status was obtained with the dedication of the first customs office at the complex.[28] Ground was broken for the International Wing, west of the original terminal building, on 8 July 1970. It opened in 1972 to accommodate federal inspection services; international flights (Nordair 737s YUL-YHM-PIT) began in 1971–72.

Greater Pittsburgh Airport circa 1977
Greater Pittsburgh Airport circa 1977

From the 1960s to about 1985, Trans World Airlines had a small hub at Pittsburgh. It began direct transatlantic flights in May 1981, to London Heathrow via PHL and nonstop to Gatwick. Neither lasted long; the next transatlantic nonstop may have been USAir's 767 to Frankfurt about 1990.[29] The nonstop Frankfurt service was revived by foreign carrier Condor in 2017 but was terminated in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The flight was flown two times a week using a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.

The airport expanded as load increased. In 1972, rotundas were added to the end of each dock to allow more gates. In the later 1970s growth in regional air travel created a need for more gates. In 1980 the South East Dock was opened. Even with these expansions, the terminal was too small.

In 1987, with the financial backing of USAir (then the dominant carrier in Pittsburgh), work commenced on a billion-dollar expansion. On 1 October 1992, the new complex opened, with operations having been transferred overnight from the old terminal. (The old terminal was kept until 1999 to house remaining operations offices.) The new terminal had numerous innovative features, including an AirMall, with more than 100 retailers and eateries (more defined in Passenger Complex section of this article). The new Landside/Airside design construction eliminated the need for connecting passengers to go through security more than once. The airport was equipped to handle up to 35 million passengers per year.[30]

The Airside Terminal at Pittsburgh International, which was designed by Tasso Katselas Associates, Inc.,[31] became a model for other airports around the world. Its design simplified aircraft movement on the airfield and enabled easy pedestrian traffic to the gates.

The May 1995 timetable shows USAir nonstops from PIT to 91 airports, plus 28 more on USAir Express. By the late 1990s growth had leveled off, with USAir concentrating on expanding at Philadelphia and Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, which had been a hub airport of Piedmont Airlines . In 1997 the airport handled almost 21 million passengers, more than any previous year.[32][33]

In August 2001, the airport had its busiest month ever with 2 million passengers and an average of 633 daily flights, and was on track for 2001 to be its busiest year ever. Then the September 11 attacks harmed the aviation industry, and US Air in particular, setting in motion the decline of Pittsburgh as a hub.[34] US Air began slashing jobs a week after the attacks and filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2002. High operating costs at the airport put the US Airways hub in Pittsburgh at a serious disadvantage. By 2003, US Airways reported to be running a $40 million loss per year ($56.3 million present day dollars) operating its hub at Pittsburgh,[35] while also paying roughly 80% of the new airport's $673 million debt ($947 million present day dollars) stemming from its requested construction of the new terminals.[36]

Just before emerging from bankruptcy in 2003, US Air canceled its leases at Pittsburgh without any notice to airport and county officials, a move that former Allegheny County Airport Authority executive director said was "completely immoral and unethical" in a 2021 interview.[34] US Air filed for bankruptcy again in 2004. After failed negotiations to lower landing fees and debt obligation, the airline announced in December 2004 that it would be reducing operations at Pittsburgh, shifting hub operations to Charlotte and Philadelphia.[37] By the end of 2005 the airline had eliminated 7,000 jobs while operating roughly 200 flights per day, mostly domestic.[38] It ceased all service to Europe. A year later, US Airways had only about 170 flights per day to and from Pittsburgh, most being domestic flights.[39] Unrelenting flight and job cuts continued through the decade; accompanied by the airline's closure of Concourse E on the Landside Terminal and a portion of Concourse A on the Airside Terminal. In 2007, US Air's market share in Pittsburgh dropped below 40% for the first time since the airport's expansion in 1992.[11] By the end of the decade, US Airways had reduced to 68 flights per day, operating from ten gates on Concourse B, and one US Airways Club location. Numerous US Airways ticketing and customer service counters were abandoned, and 15 gates on Concourse A and B were sealed off from the rest of the airport.[10] Pittsburgh's air traffic bottomed out in 2013 with 7.8 million passengers and 36 destinations.[34]

Despite de-hubbing the airport, US Airways chose Pittsburgh in 2008 for their systemwide flight operations control center, after a bidding war with Charlotte and Phoenix led to state and local subsidies totaling $16.25 million being offered to US Air to build the center at Pittsburgh.[40] The center worked on emergency operations for US Airways Flight 1549 after it landed in the Hudson River. The airline closed the center in 2015 as part of its merger with American Airlines. The center was rebuilt as a 9-1-1 center for Allegheny County, which opened in 2019.[41]

When US Air took its final flight in 2015 before all operations were subsumed by American Airlines, Flight 1939, it did not stop in Pittsburgh, which former Allegheny County Executive Jim Roddey said was "the final insult" by the airline to Pittsburgh.[30]

American Airlines still has a maintenance base at Pittsburgh, which dates back to the US Air days and employs 500 people. American Airlines maintains and repairs all its Airbus narrowbody fleet at Pittsburgh. In 2021, it extended its lease at the airport for five years.[42]

Post-hub growth

Airside Terminal, with the Alexander Calder mobile Pittsburgh on display in center
Airside Terminal, with the Alexander Calder mobile Pittsburgh on display in center

US Airways' diminished operations at Pittsburgh allowed for more airlines to enter the market, creating more choices for local passengers.[34] The airport's operator, the Allegheny County Airport Authority, has worked to attract new airlines and new routes to the airport, particularly low-cost and international carriers.

AirTran Airways, which had trouble competing in Pittsburgh after beginning service in 2000, was able to expand Pittsburgh offerings after the US Airways cuts. In 2003, USA3000 Airlines began service to Florida and subsequently expanded to include international destinations in the Caribbean. Southwest Airlines began service to Pittsburgh in May 2005 and broke US Airways's monopolies on Tampa, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia, and brought more competition to the Chicago and Orlando markets. JetBlue Airways began service in June 2006 with flights to Boston-Logan and New York-JFK, thus in turn breaking US Airways' monopoly on Boston and adding more competition to the New York market. Myrtle Beach Direct Air began service in March 2007. Combined increases in competition and diversification of carriers at the airport led to a decline in average airfares by roughly 30%, lowering notoriously high fares once commonplace for the airport.[35]

In 2014, regional carrier Sun Air Express designated Pittsburgh as a hub, offering Essential Air Service flights from the airport to five small airports in Pennsylvania and New York, such as Lancaster.[43] In 2016, Sun Air was acquired by Southern Airways Express.[44] Pittsburgh is still a hub for Southern Airways, which connects small airports in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Pittsburgh and also offers interline service with American Airlines. Boutique Air also offers EAS service between Pittsburgh and other small airports in Pennsylvania.

In May 2015, it was announced that Southwest Airlines was looking into expanding in Pittsburgh and possibly designating it as a focus city.[45] In 2016, Southwest moved its ticketing and check-in operations to the north end of the landside terminal after it reached an agreement with American Airlines to use the automated baggage system previously designed for US Air, allowing them to handle more baggage capacity and expand service at the airport.[46] Southwest is currently the airport's largest carrier by number of passengers, and in 2021 a Southwest vice president reiterated that the airline was committed to Pittsburgh and considering expansion.[47]

In September 2015, Toronto based regional carrier Porter Airlines began daily non-stop service from Pittsburgh to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,[48] however the route was discontinued in September 2017.[49] Air Canada Express currently offers flights to Toronto and Montreal.

Pittsburgh has also been successful in attracting airlines to serve the region for the first time or to return to the market. Allegiant Air commenced service in February 2015 and has been expanding ever since, establishing a base of operations in Pittsburgh in December 2015.[50] Frontier Airlines re-entered the Pittsburgh airport in 2016 after a four-year absence.[51] Spirit Airlines commenced service to seven destinations between May 2017 and July 2017.[52] In 2019, Alaska Airlines began serving the airport with a nonstop route to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.[53][54] In July 2021, Breeze Airways began nonstop service to four cities.[55] And in October 2021, Sun Country Airlines announced it would enter the Pittsburgh market for the first time with service to its hub at Minneapolis/St. Paul beginning in summer 2022.[56]

In 2017, Pittsburgh was the first U.S. airport to be named Airport of the Year by Air Transport World.[57]

From 5 September 2017, non-ticketed persons were allowed to access the airside terminal and gates, similar to pre-9/11 policy. Pittsburgh was the first airport (since 9/11) in the nation to allow non-passengers to pass through security to dine and shop in a post-security terminal. Participants can sign up for myPITpass on the airport's website and must pass through the alternate security checkpoint before continuing through to the Airmall in the airside terminal.[16]

The airport became one of the first in the United States to use a new TSA system called Credential Authentication Technology, which phases out the use of boarding passes at TSA security checkpoints in favor of a stronger system that verifies passengers based solely on a government-issued ID.[58]

In March 2019, after years of lobbying by airport authority CEO Christina Cassotis, British Airways announced it was returning nonstop round-trip service to Heathrow Airport from Pittsburgh on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which began the following April. Simon Brooks, an executive at British Airways, noted, "Pittsburgh is the perfect example of a city that is really prospering in so many different industries and whether it is tech or health care, the amount of universities and the amount of education programs you have here, so many great compelling reasons on a corporate but also on a vacation and leisure angle as well." He also hoped that Pittsburgh residents would use the direct route to Heathrow to connect to more international destinations, specifically noting Germany, Italy, and India. Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald noted that British Airways would be receiving $3,000,000 in state tax dollars, but stated the region would receive a $57,000,000 economic boost because of British Airways' return.[59] The route was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, and after repeated delays there was speculation that it would never return, but in December 2021 British Airways announced that the route would resume in June 2022.[60]

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic led to severe drops in traffic from the airport, as much as 95%.[61] It also led to the delay of the airport modernization project.[62] Monthly enplanements bottomed out at 32,415 for the month of April 2020.[63] Fraport Pittsburgh, operator of the airport's Airmall, closed 61 of 72 shops and restaurants.[64] American Airlines and Republic Airways parked more than 100 planes at Pittsburgh International after cutting flights out of their schedules.[65] Airport officials estimated they could store about 140 planes on unused taxiways, runways, deicing pads, and other surfaces.[66] The parked planes included American's Airbus A319, A320, A321, and wide-body A330 aircraft, as well as American's smaller Embraer E-190 Republic's E-170 jets.[67] Also due to the coronavirus, Spirit Airlines began flights between Pittsburgh and Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, about 60 miles away in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, as part of a triangular route to Orlando in order to consolidate passengers going to Orlando onto one flight.[68] Alaska Airlines also modified its nonstop service from Pittsburgh to Seattle to begin in Baltimore, stop in Pittsburgh, and continue to Seattle.[68] The airport became the first US airport to deploy robotic floor scrubbers that use UV-C light to disinfect high-traffic areas.[69] Traffic rebounded somewhat over the summer and the airport finished 2020 with 3.649 million passengers.[70]

The airport rebounded in 2021 with three new airlines entering the market and several existing airlines adding new routes to leisure destinations. Southwest, United, American, and Allegiant added routes from Pittsburgh to several beach cities in Florida, as well as cities like Portland, Maine and New Orleans in 2020 and 2021.[71] Breeze Airways, Contour Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines all announced their entries into Pittsburgh for the first time in 2021.

New terminal

In September 2017, Allegheny County Airport Authority officials announced a $1.1 billion plan to renovate and reconfigure the terminal complex, including a new landside terminal and a new parking garage. Under the proposal, the current landside building would be demolished if another use is not found, and the number of gates would be reduced from 75 to 51. A new landside building would be constructed between the airside terminal's concourses C and D, with new security and baggage facilities, a new international arrivals area, and many other amenities to serve passengers. The board chairman of the Airport Authority, David Minnotte, said that "The people of Pittsburgh finally get an airport built for them and not USAir". No taxpayer dollars would be used to construct the new facility, and it will be instead financed with floating bonds, grants, passenger facility charges, and revenue from natural gas drilling on airport property.[72] Construction was originally expected to begin in summer 2020 and the new terminal was slated to open in 2023.[73] However, in April 2020 airport officials decided to delay the selling of bonds and start of construction due to the coronavirus pandemic.[62] In February 2021, airport officials announced early site and construction work would begin in spring 2021 with an increased budget of $1.39 billion, with a projected finish and opening in 2024.[22][23] The airlines serving the airport agreed to fund $182 million in construction site preparation work for the project. Crews broke ground on the new terminal in July 2021.[18]



PIT has a wide, open layout and four runways: three east–west parallel runways and a fourth crosswind runway. The airport's two longest runways are 11,500 feet (3,510 m) and 10,775 feet (3,280 m), allowing PIT to accommodate the largest airliners. Because of the development of non-aviation related business on airport land, PIT can add only one more runway (this number was as high as four in the past). With three parallel runways, simultaneous landings and/or departures can be performed in nearly any situation.[74]

Runways 10L and 10R have Category III ILS (Instrument Landing System) approaches. Runway 28R is certified for Category I ILS and is authorized for Category II approaches but requires special aircrew and aircraft certification. Runways 28L and 32 have Category I ILS approaches. All runways have GPS approaches as well.


Part of the Landside Terminal ticketing area
Part of the Landside Terminal ticketing area

The airport complex consists of two main buildings, the "Landside Terminal" and the "Airside Terminal". The terminal consists of 75 gates on four concourses; however, only 56 gates are available for use.[75] After passing through the security checkpoint, passengers board one of two underground people movers that travel to the Airside Terminal, where all departure gates are located. All international arrivals, except for cities with United States border preclearance, pass through Concourse C. American Airlines has an Admirals Club on the mezzanine level of the airside terminal.[76] The Club Lounge opened in October 2017 in the C Concourse across from gate C-52 near the center core[77] and was renovated and expanded in 2019.[78] The airport also operates a free lounge for active duty military and veterans in concourse C.

Ground transportation

PIT is located at Exit 53 of Interstate 376 and the Western Terminus Pennsylvania Route 576 (future I-576), and within 10 miles (20 km) of Interstate 79 and 15 miles (24 km) of Interstate 76, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Interstate 70 to the south and Interstate 80 to the north are both less than an hour away. Just beyond Interstates 70 and 80, Interstate 77 to the west and Interstate 68 to the south are within 90 minutes of the airport.

PIT offers on-site parking operated by the Grant Oliver Corporation and patrolled by the Allegheny County Police. Grant Oliver offers a GO FAST Pass account to pay for parking electronically via E-ZPass, with billing and other aspects of the system handled by Grant Oliver.[79] There are regular parking shuttles to the Long Term and Extended lots[80] that can be accessed from the Baggage Claim level of the Landside Terminal outside doors six and eight. There are three options for parking: Short Term, Long Term, and Extended. The Short Term garage is attached to the Landside Terminal via the enclosed moving walkway. There are 2,100 spaces available. The Long Term section also has quick access to the enclosed moving walkway. There are 3,100 spaces available here. The Extended section has an outdoor walkway that leads to the enclosed moving walkway and also has regular parking shuttles that can be accessed from the Baggage Claim level of the Landside Terminal outside doors six and eight. There are 8,000 spaces available in the Extended lot.[80]

Bus service is also available from Downtown Pittsburgh and the city's University District (Oakland) via the Port Authority of Allegheny County's 28X Route. Mountain Line Transit's Grey Line also has service to areas south of Pittsburgh including Waynesburg, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, Fairmont, and Clarksburg, West Virginia.[81] BCTA Transit formerly served locations north and westbound from the airport. The Pittsburgh Light Rail currently does not stop at the airport.


Pittsburgh International Airport has a sizeable freight business, with a Free-trade zone of 5,000 acres (20 km2), access to three class-one railroad freight lines, one interstate highway, and a location a few miles from the nation's second largest inland port.[82] The airport's three largest cargo carriers account for over 100 million pounds (45 million kg) of freight per year.[83] Four cargo buildings provide more than 183,000 square feet (17,001 m2) of warehouse capacity and over 450,000 square feet (41,806 m2) of apron space.[84]

Airport officials have sought to increase cargo operations in Pittsburgh for many years. In 2017, when Qatar Airways launched twice-weekly cargo service at Pittsburgh, backed by $1.5 million in subsidies. The effort was not very successful at first as Qatar failed to meet tonnage goals, and in December 2019 the route was suspended. However, Qatar resumed the flight in 2020 without any subsidies, and as of 2022 had increased operations to 3-4 flights per week.[85] Several new cargo carriers began service to Pittsburgh in 2020 and 2021, including Cathay Pacific, SpiceXpress, and Amazon Air, due in part to Pittsburgh's proximity to other major population centers and its efficient operations compared to congested cargo hubs in cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.[85] The airport has begun construction on a new 80,000 sq ft cargo facility with 17 loading docks, scheduled to open in 2024.[85]

The world's leading caterer for air and business, LSG SkyChefs, in 2007 chose Pittsburgh as its sole Western Hemisphere manufacturing facility. It expanded its customer service center on the cargo side of the airport by 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) and now employs over 100 people with the capacity of making nearly 25 million meals per year for distribution to flights all over the Americas.[86] LSG SkyChefs cited the region's strategic location for air and truck transport to major suppliers and customers, as well as the airport's excellent record in maintaining and expanding capacity.


In 2018, the airport announced plans to construct its own microgrid, using natural gas and solar power as the primary power source for the airport,[87] protecting it from power outages.[88] In 2019, the airport authority awarded Peoples Natural Gas a 20-year contract to build, maintain, and operate the microgrid at no cost to the airport in exchange for the required land and an agreement to purchase the electricity for 20 years.[89] The microgrid was completed in July 2021, making Pittsburgh the first airport in the world to receive its electricity entirely from a microgrid.[90] The microgrid uses natural gas from the Marcellus Shale as well as solar panels.[17] Most of the energy comes from natural gas; the 9,360 solar panels can generate up to 13% of its peak power.[91]

Airlines and destinations


Air Canada Express Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson [92]
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma [93]
Allegiant Air Charleston (SC), Jacksonville (FL), Melbourne/Orlando,[94] Nashville, Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota, Savannah, St. Petersburg/Clearwater, West Palm Beach
Seasonal: Austin, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Key West, Myrtle Beach, Norfolk, Phoenix/Mesa, Rapid City[95]
American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Washington–National
American Eagle Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Washington–National
Seasonal: Dallas/Fort Worth, Orlando
Boutique Air Altoona [98]
Breeze Airways Charleston (SC), Hartford, Norfolk, Providence [99]
British Airways London–Heathrow (resumes June 3, 2022)[100] [101]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul [102]
Delta Connection Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia [102]
Frontier Airlines Denver (resumes April 28, 2022)[103]
Seasonal: Orlando
JetBlue Boston [105]
Southern Airways Express Bradford, DuBois (PA), Lancaster (PA), Morgantown (WV) [106]
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, St. Louis, Sarasota, Tampa
Seasonal: Austin, Cancún, Houston–Hobby, Miami, Myrtle Beach[107]
Spirit Airlines Cancún, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Tampa
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul (begins June 2, 2022)[110]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco (resumes March 27, 2022) [111][112]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Charleston (SC), Hilton Head, Fort Myers, Pensacola, Portland (ME)


Amazon Air Fort Worth, Lakeland [113]
Cathay Pacific Hanoi
Ethiopian Airlines Hanoi
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis, Baltimore
FedEx Feeder State College
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha, Singapore
UPS Airlines Louisville, Philadelphia

Through the first 11 months of 2021, FedEx accounted for 50% of all cargo traffic at the airport, followed by UPS at 33% and Amazon Air at 5%.[85]

Past destinations

As recently as 2000, US Air flew from Pittsburgh to more than 110 destinations, including cross-country direct routes to cities on the west coast, and regional service to cities such as Albany, Allentown, and Buffalo,[114] and international flights to cities like London, Frankfurt, and Paris.[115] After US Air merged into American Airlines, American continued cutting direct routes, including service to Los Angeles, Hartford, and St. Louis.[116] Some of the routes previously served by US Air and American are now served by other airlines.

Upon entering the Pittsburgh market in 2016, Frontier offered service to Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Chicago before dropping the routes in 2017.[117] Upon entering the Pittsburgh market in 2017, Spirit offered nonstop routes to Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth which were later discontinued.[118]

In the 2010s, United and American offered nonstop service to Los Angeles. American started flying the route in 2013, leading to United dropping the route; then American itself dropped the route a couple years later.[119] Southwest began nonstop service to Los Angeles in August 2016,[46] but suspended it in June 2019 due to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and canceled it altogether in January 2020,[120] leaving Spirit as the only nonstop carrier to Southern California.

Southwest previously operated nonstop service to Philadelphia, but that route ended in 2012 due to competition from American Airlines.[46]

Delta offered a seasonal route to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport from 2009 to 2018.[121] Delta briefly offered service to Raleigh-Durham, but it was canceled after the coronavirus shutdowns.

Wow Air began offering direct service to Reykjavík, Iceland in the summer of 2017, but the service was suspended in January 2019, shortly before the airline went bankrupt.[122]

JetBlue flew from Pittsburgh to New York-JFK from 2006 to 2013.[123] JetBlue also flew from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale twice from 2014 to 2021. The route was eliminated as part of a large systemwide cut of routes by the airline in 2021, and left Boston as JetBlue's only route.[124]

Virtual airline OneJet briefly had its base of operations in Pittsburgh, offering routes on small jets to Hartford, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee from 2016 until it went out of business in 2018.

Contour Airlines announced its entry into the Pittsburgh market with a nonstop route to Indianapolis to begin in spring 2020,[125] but it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Contour began business-oriented nonstop service to Indianapolis as well as Milwaukee in October 2021.[126] However, the airline canceled the routes just three months later due to continued depressed business travel demand.[127]


Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from PIT (November 2020 - October 2021)[128]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 251,000 Delta, Southwest
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 202,000 American
3 Orlando, Florida 201,000 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
4 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 162,000 American, United
5 Denver, Colorado 160,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
6 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 141,000 American
7 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 122,000 JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit
8 Tampa, Florida 95,000 Southwest, Spirit
9 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 91,000 Southwest
10 Fort Myers, Florida 86,000 Southwest, Spirit, United

Airline market share

Largest airlines at PIT
(November 2019 - October 2020)
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 1,208,000 26.84%
2 American Airlines 671,000 14.90%
3 Republic Airways 552,000 12.28%
4 Delta Airlines 417,000 9.27%
5 Spirit Airlines 415,000 9.23%

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic at PIT airport. See source Wikidata query.

Accidents and incidents

Date Airline Aircraft type Description
10 February 2021 Delta Air Lines Boeing 717 Slid off the taxiway before takeoff during snowy weather. All 77 passengers deplaned the aircraft safely with no injuries reported.[130]
14 May 2017 Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 A flight from Orlando to Pittsburgh ran low on fuel while circling the airport because airspace around Pittsburgh International was closed for an hour due to the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show. The pilot diverted to land at nearby Allegheny County Airport.[131] Maj. Charles Baker of the 911th Airlift Wing said the pilot had not asked to land at Pittsburgh before diverting to Allegheny County.
28 July 2011 U.S. Army Lockheed Martin "HALE-D" An unmanned U.S. Army/Lockheed Martin experimental "HALE-D" airship that took off at 5 am at Wright Patterson Air Force Base crash landed from 32,000 feet at 8:30 am south of the airport between New Freeport and Gilmore.[132]
22 November 2001 Corporate Learjet Crashed after a rapid takeoff in which it went "nose-high" before the Pilot Flying (PF) lost control, both on board were killed.[133][134]
8 September 1994 USAir Flight 427 Boeing 737-300 Crashed on approach from Chicago O'Hare International Airport. All 132 people on board were killed. It resulted in the longest and most thorough NTSB investigation in history. It was determined that a lock occurred in rudder control that caused the plane to fall uncontrollably from 6,000 feet (1,800 m). Boeing has retrofitted every 737 because of the data gathered from this crash. The plane crashed roughly 10 miles (16 km) North-Northwest in Hopewell Township.
31 July 1969 TWA Flight 79 Boeing 727 The plane was hijacked en route from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles International Airport by bank robber Lester Perry Jr. who was being transferred to a new prison. Though accompanied by a U.S. marshal and a correctional officer, Perry was allowed to go to the lavatory unaccompanied where he found a razor blade. He then held hostage a flight attendant and demanded to be taken to Havana, Cuba. Upon landing at José Martí International Airport he sought political asylum from the Cuban government.[135][136]
1 April 1956 TWA Flight 400 Martin 4-0-4 This was a flight from Pittsburgh to Newark. It crashed about a half-mile after taking off when the Captain and First Officer did not immediately correct a small engine malfunction/fire. Due to miscommunication and lack of focus it caused failure and a crash. Twenty-two of 36 occupants were killed.[137]
19 February 1956 US Air Force Republic F-84F Thunderstreak A Republic F-84F Thunderstreak crashed into a field behind Holy Trinity Church after an engine flameout during a training flight. The pilot, Thomas W. Sonnett, did not eject because he feared his aircraft would cause ground fatalities. After the crash, he was pulled from the jet and rushed to Ohio Valley General Hospital, where he died from his injuries. He was just 32 years old.
31 January 1956 U.S. Air Force B-25 Mitchell North American TB-25N Mitchell 44-29125, on cross country flight from Nellis AFB, Nevada to Olmsted AFB, Pennsylvania, after departing Selfridge AFB, Michigan suffers fuel starvation NE of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in mid-afternoon, attempts to divert to Greater Pittsburgh AFB, ditches in the Monongahela River at the 4.9-mile (7.9 km) marker, west of the Homestead High-Level Bridge, drifts ~1.5 miles (2.4 km) downstream in 8–10 knots. current, remaining afloat for 10–15 minutes. All six crew evacuate but two are lost in the 35 °F (2 °C) water before rescue. Search for sunken bomber suspended 14 February with no success – aircraft is thought to have possibly settled in submerged gravel pit area in 32 feet (9.8 m) of water, ~150 feet (46 m) from shore, possibly now covered by 10–15 feet of silt. This crash remains one of the Pittsburgh region's unsolved mysteries.[138]
22 December 1954 Military Charter Douglas DC-3 Ditched in the Monongahela River with 28 men on board after the pilot reported running out of fuel. 10 perished.[139]
13 July 1950 Private Beechcraft Commander Two killed and one injured in a crash at Montour Country Club after engine failure.[140]

Other events

The airport has been the venue for a number of miscellaneous events. The U.S. Air Force has held several air shows at the airport.[141]

In 1991, over 40,000 people packed the airport to greet the Pittsburgh Penguins when they landed at the airport after winning their first Stanley Cup championship.[142]

See also


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  141. ^ Pittsburgh air show gives added lift to Mother's Day
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