PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Major changes could be coming to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

When the airport opened 25 years ago, the terminal was built to handle 35 million passengers a year when it was a U.S. Airways hub. At its peak as a hub, it was getting up to 20 million.

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Now, options are being considered to reduce the size of the some of the airport concourses.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald tells the “KDKA Morning News” it now has about 8.3 million passengers wandering through a huge facility that seems empty, even when it’s busy.

“The irony was years ago…we still weren’t doing very well economically, but you went into an airport that was full because it had connecting passengers…Now, we’re doing much better economically, no comparison, but if you flew into the airport at certain times you’d have a different impression because sometimes it looks empty,” said Fitzgerald.

He said it is expensive to maintain space that isn’t used and many of the gates are becoming obsolete because of changing technology.

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The Airport Authority is looking at downsizing as part of a master plan. That might mean demolishing parts of the concourses, like shortening Concourses A and B.

“This is going to be a process going through the next year or two in which the airlines will certainly have a lot of say in this because they’re the ones that pay for it and they’re the ones that use [the concourses],” Fitzgerald said. “It might be four or five years before construction is completed.”

Listen to the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry and John weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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