Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY Published 3:55 p.m. ET Feb. 20, 2019 | Updated 3:57 p.m. ET Feb. 20, 2019
Pittsburgh has unveiled plans for a new $1.1 billion renovation that will give the city’s resurgent airport a new passenger terminal.
The new two-story terminal, projected to open in 2023, features an undulating roof that designers say is meant to mimic the region’s rolling hills.
The design for the new terminal was handled by architect Luis Vidal, who also designed the recently opened “T2” at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Pittsburgh officials say the new terminal will speed flyers’ trips through the airport by consolidating check-in, ticketing, security and baggage claim “into one connected facility.” Currently, a people-mover tram is needed to funnel passengers between gate areas and check-in, baggage claim and security. The new terminal will replace the existing “landside” building, essentially filling in an empty area that currently exists between the gate areas and the airport’s entrance.
Departing passengers will go through the new terminal’s upper level while arriving passengers will move through the lower level as they make their way from their gates to baggage claim and the airport’s exit.
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The airport released images of the new plan, but said it will “continue to be refined over the next phase of the project …, which is expected to run through summer 2019.”
It’s all part of a major makeover for the airport, which was revolutionary when it opened in 1992. Since then, however, Pittsburgh International has become suboptimal for the city’s modern-day needs.
The current design was built almost exclusively to specifications called for by US Airways, which at the time used Pittsburgh as a major connecting hub that ranked among the nation’s busiest. The airport’s four passenger concourses were laid out like an “X,” giving connecting fliers a relatively short walk between gates – no matter which concourse they arrived to and departed from.