Pittsburgh International Airport will be the first in the U.S. to allow non-fliers past security into the gate areas of their airport since new security regulations were put in place after the 9/11 terror attacks.
According to Pittsburgh Intl. spokes people, all those wishing to enter the gates will go through the same security scrutiny, there will be no reduction in security measures. Pittsburgh Intl. will begin its “myPITpass” program on Sept. 5, under which non-flying visitors can get a day-pass in the airport ticketing area. If the program is popular, PIT may expand the passes beyond the weekday, 9-5 access.
This is a major, positive move for PIT, which was one of the first airports to sport the modern design which included a collection of stores for guests to shop in. Their “Airmall”.
Even today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes “Airmall is home to several stores or restaurants like Hugo Boss, Armani Jeans, and Bar Symon that are not found elsewhere in Pittsburgh.”
In its early days, the retail area proved to be hugely popular with both local residents and with fliers. The airport even touted “street pricing” for Airmall stores, promising customers there wouldn’t be a big mark-up just for shopping in the terminal.
“When the airport first opened, we used to come Christmas shopping out here because you have specialty shops,” local resident Tony Purcell tells Pittsburgh TV station KDKA while discussing the impending change in access there.
But post-9/11 security changes that restricted terminal access to ticketed fliers abruptly curtailed access to the airport shops. PIT hopes to change that with its myPITpass program and rekindle the cities love of the Airmall specialty shops.