Troubles at Pittsburgh International Airport

Summary of Study

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) had a bad year in 2020 in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft operations—takeoffs and landings. PIT is owned and operated by the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA).

The declines in air travel passengers and aircraft operations are certain to have a significant direct and substantial impact on airport revenues. Parking, rental car, hotel, passenger facility, and concessions revenue would be most affected by the passenger count drop.  Landing and terminal fees would be impacted by the reduction in aircraft operations. 

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Feature Charticle

Allegheny Institute for Public Policy

Findings:

  • Since the Covid-19 pandemic started to spread widely in early March, the 10 months from March through December saw the total passenger count fall by 73 percent.
  • April was the hardest hit month for travel as massive restrictions were placed on the economy to slow the spread of the virus. Only 32,413 domestic passengers enplaned and deplaned--a 96 percent collapse from April 2019.
  • While passenger counts were falling dramatically, the level of cargo handling at the airport held up well in 2020. Mail handled at the airport also rose significantly in 2020.
  • The ACAA board must take a hard look at economic realities and take steps for unpleasant contingencies that are in store if the pandemic’s effects produce a major long-term loss in air travel.

Read the full policy report here