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Allegheny

Pittsburgh International hailed as Airport of the Year

| Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, 4:45 p.m.
An Allegiant airplane at Pittsburgh International Airport.
Heidi Murrin | Trib Total Media
An Allegiant airplane at Pittsburgh International Airport.
Passengers pass through security at the Pittsburgh International Airport on May 24, 2016.
Nate Smallwood | Trib Total Media
Passengers pass through security at the Pittsburgh International Airport on May 24, 2016.

Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday became the first U.S. airport to be named Airport of the Year by Air Transport World magazine.

Pittsburgh joins Hong Kong International, London Heathrow and Singapore Changi as honorees since the award has been given over the past four years.

“For Pittsburgh International Airport to win this designation — and they'll have a big awards banquet in New York City coming up in March — really tells about how far this airport has come in the last couple of years,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Pittsburgh International serves 68 nonstop destinations, up from 37 just three years ago. The airport just finished its busiest year since 2008 with more than 8.3 million passengers, posting a third consecutive year of gains after more than a decade of decline.

“This award is a huge honor from a longtime, respected industry resource. Pittsburgh International has turned a corner — passengers, flights and destinations are up — and the industry has taken notice,” Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis said in a prepared statement. “We're excited by the turnaround story at the airport, which has been powered by a tenacious team at every level in the Authority and an engaged and supportive community.”

Fitzgerald lauded the progress the airport has made since the days it served as a hub for US Airways.

“When we were a one airline airport many years ago, you could get to more places — a little over 100, I think destinations — but you only had one choice,” he said. “They had a monopoly. Your price was much, much higher, so I think for a lot of ways we've really been able to improve what's going on, and more to come.”

Air Transport World is recognized in the aviation industry as a key source that industry professionals rely on for analysis, marketing and intelligence.

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