PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Airport Authority opened bids Wednesday morning from gas exploration companies vying to drill in Marcellus Shale deposits at two airports.

There are 9,263 acres of land at Pittsburgh International Airport and the Allegheny County Airport with Marcellus Shale deposits.

Of the two bids received EQT was the high bidder with an offer of $44 million to lease the gas rights to land at both airports.

That figure doesn’t include future royalties that the county could receive from actual shale drilling.

Under the FAA administration rules, any money generated at the airport must be used for airport purposes.

So if the deal is approved, the authority will likely use the money to retire airport bonds and to reduce airport landing fees in an effort to attract more carriers to Pittsburgh International.

Currently, Pittsburgh International is only 15 percent occupied.

Drilling Possible At Pittsburgh International (11/27/2012)
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