US Airways flight center in Moon may close in a few years, CEO says
US Airways' flight operations control center in Moon, built with $16 million in public subsidies five years ago, probably will close in a couple of years, the company's CEO said.
Doug Parker, who will become chief executive of the merged US Airways-American Airlines, told a group of pilots and flight attendants in Charlotte on Wednesday that “you don't need, nor do you want” two operations control centers, according to a securities filing on Monday.
“Given discussions we've had with them, we are not optimistic that things will go our way,” Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.
If the airline pulls out of the state-of-the-art facility near Pittsburgh International Airport, it's not clear how the facility could be re-used, he and industry experts said.
“With the amount of flights they have in Pittsburgh, I couldn't see another use for this facility,” said Dan Persuit, president of Transport Workers Union Local 545, which represents US Airways flight dispatchers in Moon.
Though still Pittsburgh International's largest carrier, US Airways operates just 41 daily departures — a fraction of its peak of 512 in 2001 and 111 in late 2007. American operates 13 daily departures here.
The $25 million control center employs about 600 people, whose jobs would relocate to American's control center in Dallas, where the airline is headquartered.
The US Airways complex coordinates more than 3,000 daily flights systemwide. The facility, opened in late 2008, received $16.25 million in state and local subsidies in a bidding contest with Charlotte and Phoenix.
“I don't know why they gave (US Airways) that $16 million,” said Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy in Castle Shannon.
“That'a big price to pay for just having it here for just a few years.”
American, operating in bankruptcy, and US Airways agreed on Feb. 14 to merge. The transaction to create the world's largest airline is expected to win approval in the July-October quarter. The airline would take American's name.
Parker said that if he “had to bet right now,” US Airways jobs in Moon “would move to Dallas.”
“We'll need to consolidate at some point in time,” Parker told the workers. The decision won't occur until “a couple years from now,” he said.
Mike Boyd, an airline industry expert who advised Pittsburgh International over the years, said there's little doubt the merged airline will choose American's control center in Texas.
“The bigger one American has in Dallas is state-of-the-art, too. So the one to go would be Pittsburgh,” said Boyd. “Plus, it doesn't make sense to keep the operations control center in a place where you don't have many flights.”
The Federal Aviation Administration does not stipulate where an airline locates its flight-operations control center.
Though US Airways' control center is in Moon, the carrier is headquartered in Tempe, Ariz.
Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached a 412-320-7854 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Further evidence of China weakness ends stock market’s win streak
- Twitter to lay off 336 workers
- Development Dimensions International leadership grooming business uses own practices
- Pa., W.Va., Ohio to coordinate efforts to attract shale-related business
- As deadline looms, Mylan pushes Perrigo shareholders to OK buyout offer
- FirstEnergy turns to dewatering to help solve waste issues at power plant
- Education tech firm Acrobatiq does software to supplement college learning
- Safety of credit cards up to banks
- Volkswagen executive Horn sidesteps blame in emissions scandal
- Chesapeake Energy appoints Brad Martin chairman of the board
- As craft fades, personal touch helps Northway Shoes & Repair thrive