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Allegheny

Pittsburgh International Aiport hires consultant that worked on $3B Abu Dhabi terminal

Theresa Clift
| Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, 6:12 p.m.
A rendering of plans for the Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Abu Dhabi International Airport
A rendering of plans for the Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Allegheny County Airport Authority on Friday hired Orlando-based R.W. Block Consulting Inc. to work on Pittsburgh International's proposed $1.1 billion terminal project for at least the next five years.

Dan Molloy, the firm's managing director, spent the past seven years working on a similar terminal project at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is more than twice as busy as Pittsburgh with over 20 million passengers a year.

“He and his firm had the right experience and expertise,” airport authority spokesman Bob Kerlik said.

R.W. Block's website says the firm specializes in engineering, planning and construction of large capital improvement projects. It has offices in Orlando, San Francisco and Atlanta.

The Abu Dhabi airport's $2.94 billion Midfield Terminal project was scheduled to be completed last year, but the targeted completion date was pushed back to 2019 because of issues with roof construction, Reuters reported . A profile of Molloy on R.W. Block's website said he had been working in Abu Dhabi as a senior vice president and acting chief development officer.

When finished, the Abu Dhabi airport will have connected terminals similar to the plan for the Pittsburgh airport , according to airport authority CEO Christina Cassotis.

Currently, the Pittsburgh airport's two terminals are separated, requiring passengers to take a tram to travel from the building that houses ticketing and security to the one that houses the gates to board planes.

R.W. Block's contract with the authority will be in place until July 2023, when Pittsburgh's new terminal is set to open. It is scheduled to earn $1.09 million for its first year of work.

The next step for the Pittsburgh project will be to request proposals in February from architectural firms interested in working on the project, Cassotis said.

Construction is planned to start in 2019.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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