PIT Airport

Pittsburgh International or (Mister) Fred Rogers Int’l Airport?

There’s a petition out there to change the name of Pittsburgh International Airport to Fred Rogers International Airport.

Where would you weigh in?

Fred Rogers grew up near Pittsburgh and for 33 years episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the beloved children’s television show he and his red sweater starred in, were produced at Pittsburgh’s public TV station, WQED.

A special gallery at Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center displays artifacts from the show, including Rogers’ iconic sweater, necktie, khakis, sneakers and the living room set he entered at the beginning of each show.  There’s also a recently refreshed exhibit dedicated to Rogers on Concourse C at Pittsburgh International Airport.

But that isn’t enough for Ian Miller, a Pittsburgh citizen who last week started a change.org petition asking that the name of Pittsburgh International Airport be changed to Fred Rogers International Airport.

“Fred Rogers, a television pioneer and children’s entertainer, shared Pittsburgh’s sense of community with the world through his PBS show,” Miller writes in his petition, “Pittsburgh is still an active transit hub and, for many people, our airport will be their first experience in Pittsburgh. We wish to welcome everybody to our neighborhood.”

The petition has over 11,000 signatures so far.

And while Allegheny County Airport Authority, which manages Pittsburgh International, appreciates Miller’s enthusiasm and agrees “Fred Rogers occupies a special place in the hearts of Pittsburghers and people around the world,” said airport spokesman Bob Kerlik, it seems unlikely the airport’s name will be changed.

“In 2016, we completed a rebranding of the airport to better match the ongoing renaissance of the Pittsburgh region,” said Kerlik, “And at this time our focus is on continuing to advance ‘Pittsburgh International Airport’ as a global aviation leader.”

Naming – or renaming – an airport after a celebrity with a local connection isn’t unheard of in the United States.

In Santa Rosa, CA, for example, passengers land and take-off from the Charles M. Schulz -Sonoma County Airport. In Louisiana, the major airport is the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. John Wayne Airport serves Orange County, CA and the Will Rogers World Airport provides air service to Oklahoma City, OK.

 

Oklahoma City Airport

And while it has recently been rebranded as Hollywood Burbank Airport, the official name of the airfield about 12 miles north of downtown Los Angeles is still legally Bob Hope Airport.

 

Souvenir Sunday: Open House at PIT Airport

pit-airport-santa

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to get going on that holiday shopping list.

And for the third year in a row, Pittsburgh International Airport will be doing its part by hosting a one-day Holiday Open House – on Saturday, December 3 – where the general public gets access to all the post-security airport shops.

The airport updated and upgraded its mix of local and high-end retail shops and restaurants not too long ago with the likes of Martini, Vino Volo, Strip Market, Armani Jeans, Hugo Boss, Harley Davidson and Sportzburgh and on December 3 will have an on-site Santa, music, free parking and a wide variety of retail and dining specials.

It’s a great event for locals, of course, but a reminder for anyone passing through PIT Airport to check out the shops anytime. Especially because in Pennsylvania there’s no tax on most clothing – and shoes.

Registration details for the Open House and a list of specials for the day are here.

pit-kidsport

And next time you’re at PIT Airport, make your way over to Concourse C, where there’s a new and improved Kidsport as well.

 

 

 

 

Does PIT Airport need a robot repair shop?

A kickstarter crowd funding campaign is underway to bring a robot repair shop to Pittsburgh International Airport.

PIT Robot logo

It’s not to help out all the PIT passengers who break their robots in transit. It’s to give a new home to a popular public art installation that was once in downtown Pittsburgh.

Toby Atticus Fraley’s original Robot Repair Shop was an 18-month art pop-up shop that depicted a fictitious business described as looking as if the owners left for vacation, “leaving robots in various stages of repair, including one peering through the store windows longing for life in the outside world.”

PIT ROBOT REPAIR PHOTO

If funding to reconstitute the Robot Repair Shop is secured, the new installation will look much like original shop but will be three times the size and located at the airport on Concourse A near Southwest Airlines gate A15.

Want to help bring this odd, charming art project to PIT?

Visit the Robot Repair Shop website and kick in a few bucks to help the ‘shop’ open by September 2015. Thank-you gifts for pledges include logo stickers, note cards, branded pencils, buttons, t-shirts, a cool pilot-like metal wings pin, coffee mugs, a special edition Viewmaster and more robot repair-themed stuff.

PIT Airport creates space for nursing moms

PIT Nursing Lounge

Pittsburgh International is the latest airport to offer traveling moms access to a clean, comfortable and dedicated space to breastfeed, use a breast pump and care for young children.

PIT NURSING LOUNGE 2

Nursing lounge at PIT Airport

The lounge is located on Concourse C, across from Kidsport, by one of the airport’s two Andy Warhol exhibits.

Other airports with dedicated spaces for nursing moms include Burlington International, JFK’s JetBlue terminal, Newark Airport’s Terminal B, LaGuardia Terminal B (Concourse A), and General Mitchell International in Milwaukee, which all have stand-alone Mamava lactation stations.

mamava at NY Airports

Mamava stand-alone lactation pod at JFK Airport – JetBlue Terminal

Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix Sky Harbor and San Francisco International Airport are among the other airports that now have special spaces set aside for nursing moms as well.

Nursing room at Dallas Love Airport

Nursing lounge at Dallas Love Field

PIT Airport new home of “Arch” transformer art

PIT ROBOT

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) has a new giant piece of public art.

“Arch” – a transformer robot made of pieces that look like Pittsburgh Bridges, has been restored and now serves as  greeter and gathering spot in the Landside Terminal.

The sculpture was originally created to celebrate the city’s 250th anniversary and  once stood in the downtown cultural district.

Here’s what it looked like in its original outdoor spot:

PIT BRIDGES ArtWork