Inside Look: Officials Showcase Passenger Journey at New Terminal

Allegheny County executive first to experience newly completed terminal bridge

By Rocco Pacell

Published October 16, 2023

Read Time: 3 mins


Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald on Monday became the first visitor to officially travel across the front bridge to what will be the entrance to the new Pittsburgh International Airport terminal.

Fitzgerald’s inaugural drive both celebrated a distinguished career of public service and marked a significant milestone for one of the Pittsburgh region’s most ambitious construction projects.

“Rich has been a tireless advocate and supporter,” said Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. “He has been really focused on what is best for this community.”

ACAA and county leaders, along with staff and members of the press, joined Fitzgerald and Cassotis on a tour of the terminal construction site.

The recently completed bridge connects the roadways that will one day guide passengers to and from the new PIT terminal and complementary buildings. It marks yet another key achievement on the road toward the opening of the new terminal in 2025.

The Terminal Modernization Program will provide visitors with a more efficient travel experience via a larger security checkpoint and faster baggage claim while cutting long-term maintenance costs for the airlines, which are paying for the vast majority of the project. No state or local tax dollars are being used.

In addition to the new landside terminal, the construction includes a multi-modal parking garage and airport roadway system, including the new bridge.

Fitzgerald last visited the construction site in August; since then, all structural steel has been completed. Workers are now installing curtainwall glass, roofing, walls and utility lines.

“We now have the most dynamic airport in the country in many ways, and when [the new terminal] opens a year and one-half from now, it is something that is going to be unbelievably great for the region,” Fitzgerald said.

After the drive up the terminal bridge, the tour began in earnest on what will be the departures level of the new airport terminal. The broad expanses of exposed concrete and girders seen by visitors are the bones of what will ultimately be a warm, inviting environment filled with ticket counters, concessions, tree-like columns and constellation lighting.

As the tour progressed further into the construction site, visitors observed open spaces for large window arrays before moving to the connector bridge between the new terminal and the existing Airside Terminal.

Chief Development Officer Paul Hoback describes the arrivals experience in the future baggage claim area of the new PIT terminal. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)


The connector bridge represents a significant change from the current train that runs between the terminals, which will be decommissioned. The connector bridge will guide travelers quickly to their gates while eliminating the train’s travel time and maintenance costs.

Construction of the new terminal’s arrivals level is based on design studies that showed locals wanted to stay inside the terminal to wait for their friends and family. The area will offer visitors and travelers seating, concessions, considerably shorter baggage wait times and access to outdoor garden terraces adorning either side of the terminal.

The new Multi-Modal Complex nearby features a parking garage with 3,300 public spaces—three times the amount of covered space currently available at PIT.

The daily construction workforce, made of people from the Pittsburgh region, said they take great pride in seeing the structures begin to resemble what many have seen only in blueprints and computer-generated images.

“It is an investment in the future of Pittsburgh, as we build an airport that is for Pittsburgh, by Pittsburgh,” said Fitzgerald. “The new terminal replicates what Pittsburgh is, and it is something we can all be so proud of.”

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