PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After Hurricane Irene forced thousands of flight cancellations up and down the east coast, some passengers found themselves in Pittsburgh; and it could be the start of a plan to fill up the empty concourses at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Airport Authority CEO Brad Penrod says that plan worked so well that he’s now pushing what he calls the “CASE plan” — short for Capacity And Service Enhancement.

The goal is to take flights away from notoriously congested airports like Philadelphia and New York and bring them here.

“Our capacity for the terminal is 32 million passengers,” Penrod explained. “To solve capacity on the East Coast would be tens of billions of dollars. We could offer this service to the public in about two days.”

Pittsburgh International already hosts a number of connecting flights; but the idea is to take a flight that goes from someplace like Syracuse to Tampa with a stop at JFK, and bring that layover here.

While some say the plan is a good idea for local businesses, not everyone is happy with the proposal.

For now, Penrod says it’s going to take a lot of lobbying for the plan to take off.

Watch & Listen LIVE