Federal Air Marshal Service to close Pittsburgh office
The Pittsburgh field office of the Federal Air Marshal Service is one of six scheduled to close nationwide, costing the region at least 60 jobs.
Air marshals and other employees at the field office, scheduled to close in summer 2015, will be offered positions at other locations. The Pittsburgh office was selected for closure after a risk- and intelligence-based evaluation, Federal Air Marshal spokesman Michael Pascarella said on Wednesday.
Pascarella would not say how many people work at the facility but said it is fewer than 100.
“We need to be where the threat is,” Pascarella said. “As an agency, we'll still be able to cover the flights we deem high risk. We don't want people to think Pittsburgh will be void of air marshal coverage.”
The fact that Pittsburgh is no longer a US Airways hub factored into the decision, he said.
Other offices slated for closure are San Diego and Tampa by the end of the year; Phoenix in summer 2015; and Cincinnati and Cleveland in June 2016. Twenty offices would remain.
Air marshals are a part of the Transportation Security Administration. The agency said in a statement that “the realignment ensures the safety and security of the traveling public while maximizing coverage of flights representing the greatest risk for terrorist activity.”
Elected officials said they would urge the TSA to reconsider. A spokesman for Sen. Bob Casey pegged the number of workers in Pittsburgh at more than 60.
“This decision will impact jobs and could have an impact on safety in Western Pennsylvania,” Casey, D-Scranton, said. “I plan to urge the TSA to reconsider.”
Brad Grantz, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said Murphy is concerned about the impact on aviation security and local jobs and his office has a briefing with TSA officials on Monday.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or 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.
- 1 killed, 4 hurt as police chase ends in Oakland crash
- Pittsburgh police solve fewer homicides
- Pittsburgh settles former police trainee’s disability discrimination lawsuit
- Plum officials reassess equipment policy after sexual assault case
- Allegheny County to increase restaurant penalties
- Plum teacher’s lawyer says latest allegations don’t measure up
- Duquesne man arrested again for Megan’s Law violations
- Detour signs highlight woes expected in Bigelow and Baum projects in Pittsburgh
- Security cameras, more police planned at Monroeville Mall
- Newsmaker: Sara Mantick
- Pittsburgh police find missing 75-year-old man