Pittsburgh wants Philly Airport traffic

    The city of Pittsburgh wants to take on Philadelphia — not in sports or a contest on whose signature sandwich is the tastiest (and highest in calories) — but in airline traffic.

    Dan Onorato, the chief exec of Alegheny County, says makes sense to use Pittsburgh instead of Philadelphia as a second site for major airlines.

    “Instead of spending billions to expand airports where there is no room, why not use facilities that are already built?” Onorato said.

    Pittsburgh is only using an estimated 15 percent of its airport capacity, unlike Philadelphia.

    Philadelphia is getting ready to start a $5.3 billion runway expansion project, with one-third of the cost funded by the FAA. Pittsburgh wants $24 million annually from the government to reduce landing fees for participating airlines. Pittsburgh International lost its US Airways hub in 2004.

    The plan will definitely not be welcomed in Philadelphia, which is trying to keep Pittsburgh from also taking a casino license from the city.

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