Sunday, January 20, 2013

Unhistory takes flight

Just because there is a bit of unhistory in the blame at this point.. Here is a headline from the Pittsburgh Press in 1984:  Cannot support another terminal, USAir head says.  In it there is a great quote from USAir folks who:
" ... acknowledged there are problems at the airport, but none of them are considered severe enough to warrant building a new terminal"

How does that fit with what you have heard since then on the history of all of this.  Just saying is all...  standard history blames USAirways for insisting on a new terminal and then not living up to their end of the deal.  Reading that you have to wonder who was pressuring whom to invest so much.

Anyways. We've looked at the employment impact of US Air(ways) here and incremental changes to the flight schedules from PIT make the news routinely. Some may note the airport is desperately trying to increase the flight destinations you can reach directly from Pittsburgh.  Yet, I am suprised nobody has every bothered to map out what the available direct flights are from the airport here.  If that image exists I can't find it easily in the public domain. More interesting though is how that map must have changed since the peak of US Airways operations here say between 1998 and 2001.  So I quickly get this picture of the history (click on the image itself to get a better resolution version):


Anonymous MH said...

They both look about the same if you're trying to get to Nebraska.

Monday, January 21, 2013 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot Paris! But I do miss those non-stops to Erie.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Vannevar said...

That's really fascinating.

Pittsburgh Press, April 27, 1986:

"USAir's decision on whether to participate in expansion of GPIA is locked in a holding pattern that industry analysts say is not likely to end soon."

The County really wanted to build a new terminal was trying to talk USAir into it, and USAir wouldn't "buy" paying for a new Terminal themselves while they had the old facility. Note that this is Colodny, who has a good reputation as an old-school Ops guy rather than the more recent generation of Lorenzo bankruptcy technicians.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:59:00 AM  
Blogger Vannevar said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:04:00 AM  
Blogger Vannevar said...

(previous entry deleted due to a bad typo, re-entered here)

According to this link (Pittsburgh Press July 23 1986), USAirways only agreed with Foerster to a long-term lease in July 1986 and if you read the last paragraph in the story on that page (a7) it says,

"In May 1984, Colodny announced that the airlines was not prepared to (page break) proceed with the project and would not enter into negotiation until it was convinced that the new terminal was necessary. At that time, plans called for the airlines to pay for the entire project with no public participation.

However, the county and state reached agreement on a funding formula in February to reduce the cost of the project to the airlines. ..."


So it seems as if the prevailing narrative, which was largely distributed by the county in the role of wronged / jilted partner, may have been self-serving and half-told; USAir was against the Terminal until the County dragged them into it, by delivering the financing and by allowing the old Terminal to fall into shabby disrepair.

In modern terms, USAir was against it, before they were for it, before they abandoned it.

Nice find, Chris, my compliments. I didn't know.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:10:00 AM  
Blogger Conservative Mountaineer said...

And, meanwhile, local yokel politicians and the local fishwrap (a/k/a Post-Gazette) bad-mouthed US Air every chance they could get.

Before anyone blames or takes pot-shots at USAir for abandoning GPIA, please keep in mind 9/11 had a HUGE negative effect on the airlne,,, serious disruption in the PIT-DCA route as well as all the other NE USA routes. It became much easier and stress-free to DRIVE to NYC and avoid the long lines, TSA goons, etc.

BTW, I am not a USAir employee. I was married to one for 24 years; my spouse lasted well into the merger with America West and was offered a very good position in PHX (which was refused,, I was p*ssed,, I wanted OUT of Pittsburgh,, still do).

Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:50:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

The government is suffering from all sort of problems because of its own incompetence but U.S. Air is only a victim of circumstance? That's hilarious.

Friday, January 25, 2013 9:33:00 AM  

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