Frequently Asked Questions

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Terminal Modernization Program

February 2019

Note: As with any long-term, multi-faceted project, the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA) will continue to revise information to reflect changing innovation, stakeholder input, new industry requirements, etc., to ensure that best industry practices are applied throughout the design and construction phases of a new terminal set to open in 2023.

1. What is the Terminal Modernization Program?
The Terminal Modernization Program (TMP) addresses needed terminal modifications at Pittsburgh International Airport to align the facility with current usage as well as plan for future transportation and technology needs. It relocates the Landside Terminal functions and related ground-side functions to a new facility that will be built adjacent to the Airside Terminal. It also provides a new parking structure and associated roadway system to support the facility. After the new Landside Terminal is constructed and fully operational, if no viable re-use can be found for the existing Landside Terminal, it will be demolished.

Goals of the Terminal Modernization Program are to:
• Stabilize airline costs
• Build Pittsburgh’s airport
• Become more environmentally sustainable
• Enhance the experience for all customers and passengers
• Provide value to the greater regional community

2. What are the key phases of the Terminal Modernization Program?
The TMP was an outgrowth of the FAA-mandated Master Plan Update which began in 2013 and was finalized in early 2018. The TMP was approved in September 2017, upon which ACAA began assembling the world-class project management and design team to deliver the program.
In July 2018, the Architectural/Engineering team of Gensler + HDR in association with luis vidal + architects began the design process for the new terminal set to open in 2023. Specific phases of the process are as follows:

TMP Process Phase Scope Target Dates

  • Concept Design
    • Big Ideas & Possibilities
    • September 2018 – February 20, 2019
  • Schematic Design
    • More detailed information about systems, materials & relationships
    • February – July 2019
  • Design Development
    • More detailed information
    • July – December 2019
  • Construction Documents
    • Detail development & coordination with Engineers
    • July 2019 – May 2020
  • Bidding & Negotiation
    • Construction & Implementation
    • August 2019 – 2023
  • Construction & Administration
    • Construction & Implementation
    • December 2019 – 2023
3. Who has ACAA selected as the architectural/engineering team to design the new terminal?
The A/E team of Gensler + HDR in association with luis vidal + architects was selected to be the lead architect/design team to ensure that international best practices and local characteristics were reflected in the project.

Gensler, headquartered in San Francisco, has PA offices and designed the new PNC tower Downtown as well as the Incheon airport. HDR has a significant Pittsburgh office on Stanwix St. and is headquartered in Omaha. Locally, HDR replaced the Greenfield Bridge and was involved in the renovation of the Honolulu airport. 

Luis Vidal has completed terminal projects for Heathrow (Terminal 2), Madrid-Barajas, and others, bringing another level of international experience to the team that will give Pittsburgh the best opportunity to once again have a terminal at the forefront of aviation.

4. Who has ACAA selected as the Landside architectural/engineering team to design the new Ground Transportation Center?
Michael Baker International, an international firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, and ranked 17th among Aviation design firms worldwide by ENR, was selected to spearhead the design for the garage, rental car facilities, access and parking areas. The company has enjoyed a 30-year working relationship with ACAA and has been instrumental on many past and current projects at the airport.
5. Can you explain the difference between the Terminal A/E Design Team and the Landside A/E Design Team?
Gensler + HDR in conjunction with luis vidal + architects are charged with creating the overall, campus-wide design of the new terminal. The Landside A/E team (Michael Baker International) will take the general design of the Ground Transportation Center conceived by the Terminal A/E Design team and apply that design to the garage, rental car facilities, access and parking areas.
6. How will ACAA work to keep the TMP on budget and on time?
In addition to program controls already put in place, ACAA has hired additional experts to help manage the TMP. The Program Management team (Jacobs) is in charge of running the Program Management Office with an eye to budget management and timetable control. The Terminal and Landside Construction Managers (CM), PJ Dick | Hunt and Turner Construction Company, will be responsible for the coordination, administration and oversight of the execution of all construction contracts. In addition, the CM may perform design reviews and constructability reviews prior to construction contract procurement. Future procurements will also assure that the project stays on budget and on time.
7. How has public and regional input been incorporated into the design?

ACAA is committed to designing and building a terminal that will make the Pittsburgh region proud. The TMP team is employing a variety of techniques to assure that all stakeholders provide input. For example, the team is regularly seeking input from the airlines, airport employees and passengers. In addition, the TMP has created Program Advisory and Best Practice Working Groups made up of regional and international experts in a variety of subject areas including arts and culture, accessibility, sustainability, technology and passenger experience. These committee members will represent their constituencies, share their expertise and insight and highlight best practices that should be incorporated into the new terminal design. Additionally, the TMP team continues to reach out to the community and passengers through one-on-one interviews, online surveys and the program website, www.PITtransformed.com, to identify what features are most important in the new facility. Finally, the TMP team plans to regularly communicate and answer questions of local municipalities and citizen groups about the program.

8. What is NaTeCo and how has it influenced the recommended design?
Developed by the design team between July 2018 and February 2019, NaTeCo (Nature, Technology, and Community) is the philosophy informing design and construction of the new terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport. It embodies the best qualities of the Pittsburgh region.
NATURE: The terminal design team is taking inspiration from western Pennsylvania’s rolling hills, rivers and parks, with landscape contours reflected in the structure and façade of the building.
TECHNOLOGY: The region’s new economic energy and tech renaissance is giving rise to innovation in passenger flow and building systems for a more modern, adaptable facility and improved user experience.
COMMUNITY: A proud history, along with a new shared vision and collaborative leadership is combining to build a smarter airport that truly reflects and belongs to Pittsburgh.
9. What are the general features of the new design?
While subject to change throughout the next phases of the program, the Concept Design unveiled on Feb. 20, 2019, includes:
• Separate levels for departing and arriving passengers and a non-public level for building systems such as baggage belts
• Additional space for an expanded TSA checkpoint
• Shorter walking distances for arriving and departing domestic and international passengers
• Indoor and outdoor green plazas and gathering spaces
• Additional space for concessions, artwork and other amenities
• Planning for technological improvements and more automated systems
• Emphasis on sustainability
10. Do we have information on Operation and Maintenance reductions in the new terminal?

Precise Operation and Maintenance (O&M) reductions will not be confirmed until the Design Development phase is complete. Based on the concept design, however, the TMP team expects to see significant savings through: 1) Reduction of covered/finished terminal spaces, 2) Improvements to the Baggage Handling System, 3) Decommissioning of the Automated People Mover (APM), 4) Reduction of FIS Private Security Costs, and 5) Other areas to be identified.

11. What are the baggage time/differences between the Concept Design and existing terminal?

Precise time differences cannot be calculated at this phase of the design, but there are important differences between the current baggage configurations and the configurations in the new terminal. First, bags will need to travel less distance and go through fewer vertical level changes to get from plane to baggage claim. In addition, the new baggage claim devices will be longer, allowing each device to hold more bags at one time. These important changes, as well as new systems and technology, should make baggage delivery more timely and efficient.

12. What is the projected cost and ROI of the new terminal?
Design-To-Budget for construction Cost is currently estimated at $905M. The Design Concept is within the Design to Budget plan. Various Value Engineering (VE) options have been identified, and additional VE options will be more fully explored and confirmed during the Schematic Design phase. Once opened the new terminal is projected to keep airline costs stable, reduce annual O&M costs and improve the airport experience for all users.

Facts & Figures

How can the impact of the Terminal Modernization Program (TMP) be quantified? Explore key facts and figures on the impact of the transformation.

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Benefits for Passengers

The TMP will provide Pittsburgh International Airport passengers with a more efficient journey that will help them get them through security quicker, arrive at their gate sooner, collect their bags faster and enjoy their journey through an airport that looks and feels like it belongs in Pittsburgh.

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