Photos of the Week: Bright Future Ahead

New era dawns in Pittsburgh aviation with Terminal Modernization Program

By BlueSkyStaff

Published November 20, 2023

Read Time: 2 mins


The metaphor here is so obvious we’re almost embarrassed to be writing about it.

Kaelyn Brazelton’s shot of a gorgeous sunrise over our Terminal Modernization Program construction site encapsulates so much of what this project is about.

The dawn for Pittsburgh International Airport will come in 2025, when the new Landside Terminal and Multi-Modal Complex open, launching a new era in our region’s storied aviation history.

The TMP 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 for the $1.57 billion project, which is funded mostly through long-term bonds that the Allegheny County Airport Authority will pay back from its operating revenue — most of which is paid by the airlines through rates and charges.

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

But as large as this project is, it is dwarfed by one of America’s premier natural wonders—Jon Kowalski got a bird’s-eye-view of the majestic Grand Canyon in Arizona from a Southwest flight recently.

This gorgeous site actually played a significant, and tragic, role in U.S. aviation history. In 1956, two commercial aircraft collided over the Grand Canyon, killing all 128 people onboard both planes—the deadliest air disaster in U.S. history at that time.

The primitive nature of air traffic control and regulated airspace was found to be a primary cause of the crash, leading to the creation of the Federal Aviation Agency (later renamed the Federal Aviation Administration) in 1958.

Thanks, Kaelyn and Jon!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming—you can click here for submission guidelines.

The Grand Canyon seen from the air onboard a Southwest flight transiting through Arizona. (Photo submitted by Jon Kowalski)

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