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USAIR MOVES INTO NEW PITTSBURGH AIRPORT

USAIR MOVES INTO NEW PITTSBURGH AIRPORT
 PITTSBURGH, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- USAir moves its busiest hub operation overnight today into the new Pittsburgh International Airport -- the biggest such project since Dallas-Fort Worth opened in 1974.
 "The airport of the future has arrived at Pittsburgh," said USAir Chairman and President Seth Schofield. "This is the first terminal built specifically as a connecting hub, and it was designed with the comfort and convenience of passengers in mind."
 USAir is Pittsburgh's major airline and played a key role in developing the 2.3 million-square foot, $750 million project.
 As the largest tenant, USAir's move from the 1950s-era terminal to the new complex is the most challenging. "In the space of six hours, after the last arrival today and before the first red-eye flight from the West Coast touches down on Thursday, Oct. 1, hundreds of pieces of equipment and people will relocate to the new facilities about 2 miles west," Schofield said.
 Some 2,000 employees in customer services alone report to work in a new location on Oct. 1. An estimated 26,000 hours of training over a four-month period was required to prepare them. The move also involves 1,500 vehicles, such as bag carts and push-back tugs; 2,900 pieces of office equipment and furniture; and 850 new telephone extensions.
 The new complex features an airside terminal and a separate landside building for local passenger ticketing and bag claim. The X-shaped airside terminal, where USAir utilizes 53 of 75 gates, is unique in the world and allows aircraft to approach from all sides on dual one-way taxiways, which minimize ground traffic delays.
 Passengers making connections in Pittsburgh, including international flights, will never have to leave the airside building, whose spacious concourses feature skylights and moving sidewalks. The central area of airside houses the Air Mall, a collection of regional, national and international retailers offering goods and services at "street" prices.
 The Pittsburgh project is a showcase of USAir's efforts to automate airport functions -- from assigning jets to their respective gates to sorting and handling baggage.
 "Our goal is to have an arriving bag reach the claim carousel at the same time the customer does and to assure connecting passengers that their bags will be transferred quickly and correctly from one airplane to another," said Schofield.
 To do that, a $31 million computer-controlled baggage system was designed exclusively for USAir's use. The heart of the system is a computer directing 13 laser-scanning arrays, each of which can "read" 60 bar-coded luggage tags per minute, much like a supermarket checkout. The scanners signal pusher units to direct bags to the proper conveyors. At 31,000 feet -- or nearly 6 miles -- the Pittsburgh conveyor system is the nation's longest.
 Aside from the baggage system, USAir has spent more than $14 million on other automation projects to support the new Pittsburgh terminal. The aim is to provide customers and employees with the most accurate, reliable and up-to-date information possible.
 One key system is the hardware/software combination called FIDS (flight information display system), which was developed by USAir with IBM and other vendors. FIDS integrates and automatically updates data throughout USAir's areas in the new terminal. For the first time, customer service agents and other employees have at their fingertips a single source of information on flights, gate changes, delays and other pertinent data. They will access this information using some 600 personal computers.
 Another improvement is at curbside check-in, where skycaps use touch-screen computer units to generate bar-coded bag tags. Inside the landside building, electronic signs above each of the 54 USAir ticket counter positions are custom programmed. At the gate areas, 27-inch color television monitors at each check-in podium and loading bridge door display current flight information.
 The new complex also features three luxurious USAir Clubs and a separate commuter terminal with 20 gates for USAir Express flights. Less visible, but equally important, improvements include new automated mail and cargo sortation facilities for USAir's use.
 "With more than 500 USAir flights a day, Pittsburgh is the nation's fourth largest hub airport," Schofield said. "The new terminal and support facilities as well as a proposed fifth runway position it well for the 21st century, and we at USAir are proud to be a part of the most modern airport in the world."
 -0- 09/30/92
 CONTACT: USAir Corporate Communications, 703-418-5100, or in Pittsburgh, 412-747-5570
 (U) CO: USAIR CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS IN: AIR ST: PA -- DC019 -- X464 09/30/92
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 30, 1992
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