The 2nd link there is for a story from 2004 and read some of the quotes and I don't mean just mine. Lots of doomsaying back then over the potential loss of international air service from the airport here. How did that turn out since the loss of air service here, including international air service, wound up far worse than anyone was really prognosticating at the time? You would have assumed that given how much air service we lost Pittsburgh would be a backwater economic case by now! Yet by virtually every measure the regional economy is going far better in the period of late when it has far far less air service than it did a decade earlier, maybe some of the least air service in history compared to other major metros. Nobody wants to infer causality there (as they shouldn't). Even before there was a glint of warning over the USAirways departure it would be hard to identify any real economic growth that happened because of the disproportionate number of flights we had here. No meaningful corporate relations or other site selection 'wins' directly tied to air service here even back then. Think about that some.
Anyway, just a test to see how much has changed. I am not sure this graphic will work but below should be an interactive graphic of some data from BTS on the change in passenger usage at the top 50 airports. It may not work, but let's see. To call up the graphic on its own full page click here.