More than 100 aircraft, including planes flown by American Airlines, were parked on Pittsburgh International Airport's airfield in the first few months of the pandemic. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

A Year Like No Other

Major commercial airports stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Even when the world shuts down.

Pittsburgh International Airport found itself in a radically altered landscape almost overnight when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, and governments worldwide began taking drastic measures to limit the spread of the deadly disease. The first step for many nations? Severely reduce international travel or end it altogether.

That was just the first blow to the travel industry, but there were many more to come. Over the past year, PIT—and its sister airport, general aviation facility Allegheny County Airport—had to adjust daily to the evolving threat, focusing on the health and safety of its passengers and workers while maintaining full flight operations.

To read more about how that happened, click here for a full multimedia experience or click the links below to read in a standard format.

PIT’s runways became parking lots for unused planes as travel plummeted in spring of 2020. (File photo)

Part 1: How PIT Survived the Pandemic

 

Essential personnel—including public safety officials, airport staff, airline employees and more—remained onsite. (File photo)

Part 2: The Sound of Silence

 

An American Airlines MD-80 aircraft takes off from Pittsburgh International Airport. (File photo)

Part 3: Ready for Takeoff

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