Friday, May 29, 2009
County Executive Dan Onorato announced his intent to privatize parking at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Onorato’s spokesman Kevin Evanto says the deal, estimated to be worth $500-700 million, would allow the airport to pay off its heavy $500 million debt and therefore make operating from the airport far less expensive. This in turn would lower ticket prices and most likely attract more airlines to Pittsburgh. Evanto says that his office has spoken with everyone who would be involved – the airport, the parking lot workers’ union, the company that manages the parking, and prospective buyers – with a “positive response” from all. The County Executive’s goal is to make Pittsburgh’s the least expensive airport in the country, says Evanto. Evanto adds that any written agreement would protect the cost of parking at the airport – to a degree. “You could structure it in different ways, but we would ensure that travelers wouldn’t be gouged, but at the same time make it possible for the company to increase rates over time so they could continue to make money,” says Evanto.