A Year Like No Other

As aviation looks ahead to what's next, we revisit the challenges of a yearlong pandemic

By BlueSkyStaff

Published March 15, 2021

Read Time: 2 mins


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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