Aviation fans delighted with the construction of the new airport terminal in Pittsburgh

The city of Pittsburgh is getting a new airport, which many aviation observers believe could serve as a model for the design of a new airport into the 21st century.

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) today inaugurates a $ 1.4 billion advanced technology terminal, which is also the first New terminal built in the country since the pandemic. Called the Terminal Modernization Project and expected to be completed in 2025, the airport includes a 700,000-square-foot terminal, 3,300-space multi-level parking, and a ground transportation hub with car rental facilities. It’s a project that started before the pandemic and has been put on hold as it rages on.

The terminal is a centerpiece of next-generation technology and sustainability, says Larry Studdiford, founder of Studdiford Technical Solutions, an airport security and baggage systems consultancy in Alexandria, Virginia.

A look inside the new terminal currently under construction at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The building will be powered by the airport’s micro-grid, which has 10,000 solar panels and five natural gas generators. And during construction, according to the Pitt Transformed to place which details the project, “a minimum of 75% of the waste will be recycled or reused, including the concrete from the existing ramps which will be reused for new roads”. Rainwater harvesting and other water conservation efforts are also planned.

“Relying on a micro-network to be autonomous and partnering with universities to configure the technologies used in the terminal are definitely innovative,” says Studdiford. “It’s not really something the industry has seen.” He adds that, however, he’s not surprised because Pittsburgh has always been forward thinking when it comes to its airport operations. “The airport was once a hub for US Airways, and at the time, the design and layout were considered to be at the cutting edge of the airport world and allowed for efficient operations,” he says. “This is another example of Pittsburgh looking to the future.”

From a design perspective, the terminal aims to make the passenger experience more efficient and, dare I say it?, Even fun. Features include shorter walking distances for arriving and departing passengers that reduce the time it takes to get from the curb to the plane by 50%, outdoor terraces before and after security adorned with plants, a abundance of greenery indoors and art exhibits. Other important elements include clean air technology and more efficient and faster baggage delivery, as baggage retrievals will be longer and baggage will have to travel less distance between planes and passengers.

And that’s right for now. The airport is currently working with Carnegie Mellon to test AI-based technologies such as self-driving cars, cleaning robots and autonomous baggage delivery.

PIT is not the only airport in the country to rely on the latest technology. Studdiford says several others are making similar progress, such as Dallas / Forth Worth International Airport, which has an in-house innovation team that includes employees from a variety of industries outside of aviation.

Still, the Pittsburgh terminal is shaping up to be one of the most pioneering, at least for now. “It will be bright, new and futuristic,” says Studdiford.

Originally appeared on Architectural summary

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