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No Ticket, No Problem in Pittsburgh!

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by skypilot6, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. BobDDuck

    BobDDuck Gone whale watching...

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    It wasn't terrible as a hub. In the summer the big thunderstorms generally stayed south (mostly) and kept it running even after PHL and DCA (and CLT) went down. In the winter you could deice aircraft at a rate much greater than any other AAA hub. The two long parallels were great for launching and recovering traffic at the same time and 32 was a nice bailout if traffic got too tight when on west flow. Other than the giant bump in 28 (I think? It's been YEARS) the pavement was buttery and the airspace was uncrowded and simple. I flew trips out of there just after the decline started, but it was a great place to operate.
     
  2. Max Power

    Max Power Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say it was a bad airport, it just didn't make any sense as a hub. By the time they built the current terminal, Pittsburghs days as a manufacturing powerhouse were long in the past. Pittsburgh likes to think it's a bigger city than it is, but there isn't population here like PHL or any NYC airport. There wasn't a great influx of people to the region like CLT(the exact opposite). The airport is an excellent hub airport in its design , just in a city that doesn't make hub levels of traffic. Much the same story as any former airline hub. And with PHL an hour away (flying time)...

    Pittsburgh lost a lot when Airways de-hubbed. About 10,000 jobs, plus many ancillary jobs. I don't know what this "shop at the airport" will do, especially due to TSA. But it'll be interesting to see how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Old School

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    They used to validate parking so Moon Township residents would come to shop the Airmall around the holidays. Best airport in the country in the 90s.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Max Power

    Max Power Well-Known Member

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    I was a teen when the current terminal opened and remember walking through it before it opened. It was like a "real" airport. Moving sidewalks! People movers! I vaguely remember the old terminal from being a kid and it was a patchwork of additions, sorely outdated by the late 80's. A shame they couldn't do anything with the original Art Deco part of the old terminal besides tear it down.

    I was an airplane cleaner(line maintenance utility they called it) for Usairways from 2000-2002 and an F/A for Shuttle America in the SAAB days for a year. I remember when it was busy and the decline has been ugly. There's been a rebound of recent, with WOW Air and Condor, plus some EAS stuff run by Southern on Caravans.

    But it will never reach it's former glory and there's talk of tearing down parts of the terminal and/or removing the landside terminal, removing the people movers and shifting the road network so that the Airside building is the entire terminal.
     
  5. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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    'a complex that was built to handle as many as 35 million passengers a year but which now accommodates about 8.3 million. .... estimated then that more than 25 of the airport’s 75 gates go unused ... Many of the gates, she has said, have become obsolete as technology has advanced.'
    http://www.post-gazette.com/busines...-gates-american-airlines/stories/201708180107
    Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 11.12.50 AM.png
     
  6. Richman

    Richman Well-Known Member

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    Yea, they already knocked down the E concourse some time ago, and they got half of the rest of the concourses blocked off.
     
  7. Max Power

    Max Power Well-Known Member

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    E gates is now the employee lot for airport employees and TSA. The entire terminal is open now, but most of B is not used except during diversions and even still it's rare. They reinvigorated C concourse for the new Condor, WOW service.
     
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  8. Max Power

    Max Power Well-Known Member

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    Yep, we have an airport that's a hub, not what we need as a region. But we're paying for that hub. (I know it's not that cut and dried)
     
  9. greg1016

    greg1016 Trustworthy Source

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    Pittsburgh makes perfect sense for a hub because it is close enough to the eastern seaboard megalopolis to make for quick connections there, but far enough away to not suffer from all the congestion and weather induced delays. 40 minutes time en route to JFK and 30 to PHL, and DC area. Also we rarely get get hit by hurricanes or noreasters, and when we do it is never the full effect.
     
  10. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Old School

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    It was well situated as a hub for Allegheny Airlines primarily north / south connections. Even once they had incorporated PSA and Piedmont, USAir had very limited service west of the Mississippi compared with the other legacies. PIT never had the Origin/destination traffic to support the hub, but the USAir Express network fed in dozens of small towns in PA, NY, WV, and OH.

    I have fond memories of growing up in the shadow of that airport, and then being based there for 3 different airlines later in my career.


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  11. NovemberEcho

    NovemberEcho Well-Known Member

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    Airport aside, Pittsburgh is an awesome city and I'm glad to see it getting it reinvigorated these past few years. I almost moved there after the AF while waiting on the FAA to do railroad control for Norfolk Pacific or whatever that railroad is called
     
  12. Max Power

    Max Power Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm familiar with Usair/Allegheny, my Dad was a mechanic starting in 1967. I get that it was leftover, as were many hubs and "focus cities". I'm just surprised it lasted as long as it did because of what you said. There was never enough originating traffic or people making Pittsburgh a destination to justify the cost of a hub.
     
  13. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Old School

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    My Dad started there (Mohawk) in 67' also.


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  14. Max Power

    Max Power Well-Known Member

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    In the vernacular of the Pittsburgh "Yinzers": Get aht! Was he a mechanic or pilot or ? My Dad retired in 2004 before PIT imploded. If he was a mechanic, he probably knew my Dad.
     
  15. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    Hmm...pretty sure PIT had a lot more to do with consolidating ops to PHL, which is in the same state, than CLT, which was a huge hub since the Piedmont days coexisting with PIT. By the time of the US Airways/America West merger, PIT and US Airways already had beef over the fees and threats to wind down service had been made. The plug on PIT was pulled long before US Airways/America West even consolidated.

    Wikipedia actually has some good info on the de-hubbing of PIT:
     
  16. Ecl!pse

    Ecl!pse Well-Known Member

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    Cool, so you are over at AGC? Started my flight training at PFTC there many years ago. How'd you wind up with the Flyers logo/skyline in your avatar?

    Reading through this thread makes me realize there probably needs to be a PIT meet & greet at some point. Seems to be lots of folks that either currently live in the area, or used to live in the area.
     
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  17. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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  18. Ecl!pse

    Ecl!pse Well-Known Member

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  19. greg1016

    greg1016 Trustworthy Source

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    Yep, AGC via ZNY (lol), originally from the Allentown area, Pitt Class of `08. PFTC is still around. I'd eventually like to get to PIT, but I may have to go to a smaller Up/Down to get my radar ticket first. I don't remember the exact story of the avatar, I changed it during some sort of sports discussion around here a couple years ago.

    I'd certainly be up for a meet and greet sometime if we get a few people together.
     
  20. Cherokee_Cruiser

    Cherokee_Cruiser Well-Known Member

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    A 2-hr driving circle from PIT encompasses a huge swath of population. You're talking Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Youngstown, other eastern Ohio, western PA including Erie. And parts of central PA. Down south, West Virginia and parts of Maryland.

    The final nail in the coffin was the Allegheny county airport board authority. US Airways asked for less landing fees and gate lease costs.

    Lots of interesting reading in achive for USairways.com...............

    https://web.archive.org/web/2004060...irways.com:80/about/press_2003/nw_03_0917.htm


    Q&A
    https://web.archive.org/web/2004061...irways.com:80/about/press_2003/pit_hub_qa.htm

    Economic study pdf file:
    https://web.archive.org/web/2004061...s.com:80/about/press_2003/economic_impact.pdf


    Key findings:
    https://web.archive.org/web/2004061...bout/press_2003/pit_hub_keystudy_findings.htm



    All interesting reading!
     
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