17 Cars Up for Bid as Airport Auction Goes Virtual

COVID-19 concerns force popular annual event online-only this year

By Matt Neistein

Published September 21, 2020

Read Time: 2 mins


Someone is going to snag a sharp Camaro while sitting at home on the couch.

Pittsburgh International Airport’s annual auction, which drew about 1,000 people in 2019, will operate a little differently this year, as safety and health precautions have suspended large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airport will offer 17 vehicles abandoned in its parking lots, as well as several pieces of retired airport equipment, in a live virtual event at 6 p.m. Thursday. The auction will be hosted on the Joe R. Pyle Complete Auction and Realty Service website, which is already taking pre-bids.

Among the vehicles being offered are a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro and a 2016 Cadillac Escalade.

The auction typically features hundreds of lots, including jewelry, personal electronics and other items accumulated in the airport’s Lost and Found. Airport officials have decided not to put those types of objects on the table this year.

“We know this is a really popular event, and it’s a win-win in terms of people getting good deals and the airport generating money for its charitable foundation,” said Dawn Bailey, Terminal and Landside Operations manager, who oversees the auction. “But safety is always our top priority, and these adjustments were necessary to minimize any health risks to bidders and our staff.”

More than 300 people participated in online bidding last year alongside the live event at the airport. As of Monday morning, more than 250 people had registered for this year’s auction.

Interested bidders must register and bid on the auction website. Pre-bids will be accepted until the start of the live virtual event on Thursday.

Anyone interested in viewing the vehicles in person may visit the airport’s Snow Removal Equipment building, where the auction is held each year, between 10-11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. on Tuesday. All COVID-related safety protocols will be enforced, including limited capacities, mask-wearing and social distancing. The Snow Removal Equipment building is located near the ACAA Field Maintenance building off of Business 376.

Proceeds from items sold that are not owned by the Allegheny County Airport Authority go to the ACAA Charitable Foundation, which helps support the airport’s military lounge, Art in the Airport program, aviation scholarships and workforce development.

In 2019, the Airport Authority, which operates PIT, added about $83,000 in auction proceeds to the foundation. The Authority itself made about $71,000.

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