New Airports Chief Wants To Bring More Nonstop Flights To Pittsburgh

Christina Cassotis doesn’t see Pittsburgh International Airport becoming a hub again, but she does think there are opportunities to add more flights.

Ms. Cassotis, 50, most recently managing officer of the air services practice for ICF SH&E, a Boston-based aviation consultant, was introduced today as the new chief executive officer of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

In her new job, she will be overseeing operations at Pittsburgh International in Findlay and the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.

But her main focus will be to bring more nonstop flights to Pittsburgh, a city that lost hundreds of flights and dozens of destinations when US Airways dropped its airport hub in 2004.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/12/16/New-Pittsburgh-airport-director-sees-opportunities-for-more-flights/stories/201412160190

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Westmoreland County Airport Authority Seeks $5M For Arnold Palmer Growth

Speaking to Westmoreland County Airport Authority members on Tuesday, state Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield, recalled an event during which she ran into a representative of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, who said the region doesn’t have room for two major airports.

“I told him, ‘Go ahead and close down,’ ” she said, laughing.

She and her chief of staff, Rob Ritson, attended a meeting at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity because the authority wrote her office a letter in October requesting $5 million as a line item in the state transportation budget.

The authority wants the funding to aid a large-scale, $7 million project to expand the terminal building and a $15 million project to strengthen and widen the runway, said board member Don Rossi, finance committee chairman.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/7335287-74/airport-authority-million#ixzz3LYhY67Xl
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Turbulence Injures Six On Flight From Philadelphia To Florida

English: US Airways Airbus A330-323X (N278AY),...

English: US Airways Airbus A330-323X (N278AY), on final approach to London Heathrow Airport, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHILADELPHIA As the plane plummeted, Mark Pensiero said he felt his seat drop and his body press up against the seat belt. Gravity seemed to lose its grasp on the 58-year-old Burlington County man. The Orlando-bound Airbus rocked violently from side to side.

“For a couple seconds there, nobody was controlling that airplane,” he said. “It was doing what it wanted to do.”

The turbulence lasted five seconds, maybe 10, Sunday night. But six people – four passengers and two flight attendants – reported injuries, leading the captain to turn the plane back to Philadelphia, U.S. Airways said. Five people were taken to hospitals. The airline said the extent of their injuries was unknown, but appeared not to be life-threatening.

Pensiero said he saw one person taken away in a stretcher and another person, a flight attendant, wearing a neck brace.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140505_Turbulence_injures_six_on_flight_from_Philadelphia_to_Florida.html#8yu4xT72ZCiexPCq.99

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Why PHL Ranks Just 18th For Air Passengers

Philadelphia International Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia International Airport is the 18th busiest U.S. airport in passenger traffic, with 30.5 million air travelers last year.

The nation’s busiest passenger airport, Atlanta, handled 94.4 million fliers, while 66.8 million traversed Chicago O’Hare, according to Airports Council International.

Among airports with the fastest passenger growth, Philadelphia was No. 25 among the top 50. Passenger traffic here was up 1 percent.

How does the nation’s sixth-largest metro area by population come in No. 18 in passengers?

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140424_Why_PHL_ranks_just_18th_for_air_passengers.html#P4IVjH9JTs20XwMX.99

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Closing Of Cleveland’s United Hub Could Benefit Pittsburgh International Airport

English: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)...

English: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) diagram for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (IATA: CLE, ICAO: KCLE, FAA: CLE) in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Deutsch: Diagramm der US-Luftfahrtbehörde (Federal Aviation Administration, FAA) des Flughafens Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (IATA: CLE, ICAO: KCLE, FAA: CLE) in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

United Continental Holdings Inc.’s plan to ditch Cleveland as a hub provides a sliver of hope that Pittsburgh International Airport will scoop up passengers in nearby markets because of fewer options in the Ohio airport.

The decision puts Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in a position similar to the Pittsburgh airport when US Airways pulled out its hub a decade ago, slashing flights and jobs and reducing choices for fliers.

United’s announcement gives Pittsburgh an opportunity to gain passengers, said Brad Penrod, Allegheny County Airport Authority’s president and chief strategy officer. The airport has spent about $450,000 annually for five years to advertise in the Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown markets.

“Because of that advertising presence as these people seek to fill that void, we’d like to think a few more passengers out of that region will be Pittsburgh passengers,” Penrod said. “This will give us an opportunity to expand our marketplace area. It’s a positive for us.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5527577-74/cleveland-pittsburgh-united#ixzz2sUABiUjf
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Pittsburgh International Struggling Despite The Region’s Robust Economy

FAA Airport Diagram of KPIT

FAA Airport Diagram of KPIT (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald describes Pittsburgh International Airport as an economic engine for Western Pennsylvania.

Yet while Fitzgerald points to improved employment, production and tourism as signs of the region’s economic vitality, growth at Pittsburgh International is stalled.

“I can’t explain it,” Fitzgerald said of the incongruity between the region’s surging economy and an airport that is scuffling in its core business of flying.

The airport was on pace through November to post its lowest annual passenger total since opening in 1992, according to the latest data. It recently learned that 600 airline jobs will vanish when the new American Airlines, created through a merger with US Airways, closes a flight operations center in Moon by next year. An unused section of one concourse in the $1 billion airport remains walled-off. The airport doesn’t have a CEO.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5501301-74/airport-pittsburgh-fitzgerald#ixzz2sHkI4LvV
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Dingy LaGuardia Airport To Undergo $3.6 Billion Makeover

An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport

An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK — Dark, dingy, cramped and sad. These are some of the ways travelers describe LaGuardia Airport, a bustling hub often ranked in customer satisfaction surveys as the worst in America.

“It does not represent what people think of when they think of New York and Broadway shows and glamour. It’s not very pretty,” said Layla House, a sales manager for a medical supply company who travels from her home in Bullard, Texas, to New York at least six times a year.

That’s about to change.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the state is taking control of an ambitious $3.6 billion construction project that envisions a new central terminal at LaGuardia, with vast open spaces, restaurants, shopping plazas, new parking garages, free Wi-Fi and other amenities now common in other airports. Cuomo wants to develop a plan to upgrade cargo operations at nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5448305-74/laguardia-york-airport#ixzz2qxotiKau
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton One Of More Than 100 U.S. Airports At Risk Of Closure

More than 100 U.S. airports, including Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International, are in jeopardy of losing their air traffic control service – forcing their closure – under automatic federal spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 2, according to a Center for American Progress study.

Under the potential across-the-board budget cuts, or sequestration, the Federal Aviation Administration would be required to slash an estimated $1.35 billion, or approximately 9 percent, from its annual budget for each of the next 10 years, starting in January, to reduce the nation’s deficit, according to the study.

In order to decrease its expenditures, the administration may choose to restrict flights nationwide – from 70,000 to 62,000 per year – said Scott Lilly, a CAP senior writer and the author of the study.

However, Mr. Lilly said it is more likely the FAA will be forced to cut air traffic service at 106 of the nation’s smaller commercial airports – which he defined as less than 750,000 passengers per year – including the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, Lehigh Valley International Airport and Harrisburg International Airport.

Read more:http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/wilkes-barre-scranton-one-of-more-than-100-u-s-airports-at-risk-of-closure-1.1355940