Airport, Airline, and Parking Industry News

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pittsburgh Airport Predicts Jump in Traffic

Oct 9, 2010 - PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - The Allegheny County Airport Authority predicts traffic will take off at Pittsburgh International Airport next year, increasing for the first time in a decade. "We are fortunate to be able to look ahead to 2011 with a positive forecast," said authority Executive Director Brad Penrod.

The authority on Friday adopted a $91.7 million operating budget that predicts a jump in departing passengers of 150,000 next year, to 4.15 million. Pittsburgh Airport's last annual increase in traffic occurred in 2001, when it went up less than 1 percent.

"That's a little more aggressive than I would expect," Sewickley-based airline industry analyst Bill Lauer said about the projected 3.8-percent traffic increase.

"There will be some increase because the local and national economies will be functioning better. That might contribute half. I don't know where they're getting the rest," Lauer said. "It's classic budgeting: 'Let's err on the side of additional revenue.'"

Penrod said the authority's optimism is based on improved economic conditions, increased flying throughout the industry and "the fact that our airplanes are full."

Airlines filled more than 82 percent of available seats on Pittsburgh Airport flights this year, he said. Nationwide, planes are flying about 80-percent full, according to Department of Transportation statistics. Read more...

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