Category Archives: pittsburgh international airport

Pittsburgh International Airport breaks ground on $1.4 billion new tech-forward terminal

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) issued this statement:

Pittsburgh’s airport of the future is officially under way. Officials broke ground on a new 700,000 square-foot terminal project, marking Pittsburgh International Airport as the first terminal in the country to be built from the ground up in a post- pandemic world.

Built with a focus on public health and technology, the new facility will incorporate clean air technology, more space for social  distancing  and  90,000  square feet  of  outdoor terrace space – both pre- and post-security – to ensure access to fresh air, a rarity for U.S. airports.

The new terminal is designed to modernize the airport, transform the passenger experience, maintain stable airline costs and advance the region’s economy. Additionally, as part of construction, the Airport Authority will implement new industry-leading standards that will break down barriers and increase equal access to opportunities for small businesses, women and people of color.

The new terminal will also be among the most sustainable in the industry as officials are building to LEED-certified silver or beyond. It will be powered by the airport’s microgrid, which is fueled by 10,000 solar panels and five natural gas generators. During construction, a minimum of 75 percent of waste generated will be recycled or reused, including concrete from existing airfield ramps that will be reused for new roads. Additional plans include rainwater harvesting and other water conservation efforts.

To celebrate the occasion, more than 300 guests gathered near the construction site of the new terminal and multi-modal transportation complex that together make up the airport’s $1.4 billion Terminal Modernization Program.

The Airport Authority expects the project to generate some $2.5 billion in total economic impact as well as 14,500 total direct and indirect jobs. The project will require more than 12,000 tons  of  steel,  94,000  tons of  concrete and more  than 354,000 square  feet  of wood materials, much of which the airport hopes to source locally. It’s among the largest infrastructure projects in the history of the Pittsburgh region.

Structural steel for the new terminal will be fabricated locally; lumber and wood materials may also be sourced locally, and workforce diversity goals will be increased across the project.

Additionally, the airport announced a first-of-its-kind regional partnership with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to proactively reduce construction site hazards and serious injuries, increase sustainability and advance an overall safer, greener construction site.

The new terminal will consolidate operations, including ticketing, security checkpoints and baggage claim, dramatically improving the passenger experience. Specifically, its single terminal design reduces passenger travel time by 50 percent to get from the curb to airside. The multi-modal complex includes a new 3,300-space parking garage, rental car facilities and entrance roadways, all designed to improve the passenger experience.

Key design features, developed by architectural and engineering firms Gensler and HDR in association with luis vidal + architects are  centered on elements of nature and sustainability, leading-edge technology, and innovation in the community. The new facilities are scheduled to open in early 2025.

Pittsburgh International Airport goes live with first-of-its-kind microgrid powering airport with natural gas and solar energy

Pittsburgh International Airport made this announcement:

Pittsburgh International Airport on Wednesday became the first airport in the world to be completely powered by natural gas and solar energy as part of its newly live microgrid.

The first-of-its kind microgrid increases resilience and maximizes public safety and makes PIT one of the most site-hardened airports in the world.

Airports across the country have been exploring ways to increase power resilience and reliability after several high-profile power outages resulted in thousands of cancelled flights and passenger disruptions. As PIT is set to break ground on building the smartest airport in the world through its new terminal project, creating smart power infrastructure is a key step that can serve as a blueprint for others.

Photo: Tom Reinsel.

The power generated at PIT is the primary supply for the entire airport, including the terminals, airfield, Hyatt hotel and Sunoco. The airport will remain connected to the traditional electrical grid as an option for emergency or backup power if needed. The microgrid will generate power, in part, through onsite natural gas wells and 9,360 solar panels across eight acres.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority Board of Directors in 2019 awarded Peoples Natural Gas a 20-year contract to build, maintain and operate the microgrid at no cost to the airport. In addition to boosting power resiliency and redundancy, the microgrid will achieve savings on electricity costs for the airport and tenants.

Crews started construction in July 2020 and completed the project on schedule even as the pandemic stalled the aviation industry last year.

What is a microgrid?

A microgrid is an independent electricity source that can operate autonomously while maintaining a connection to the traditional grid. It will be powered by natural gas drilled on-site by CNX Resources, in addition to gas from the interstate pipeline system and solar generation. The project will offer a more efficient, sustainable and resilient source of energy.

The microgrid will consist of five natural gas-fueled generators and nearly 10,000 solar panels, capable of producing more than 20 megawatts of electricity, the equivalent of powering more than 13,000 residential homes. The airport’s current peak demand is approximately 14 megawatts.

In addition to Peoples, other firms involved in the development of the microgrid included CNX Resources, IMG Energy Solutions, EIS Solar, PJ Dick, LLI Engineering and Duquesne Light Company.

Photos: Pittsburgh International Airport.

Video:

PIT Microgrid