AP News

Pittsburgh airport seeking bids for gas drilling

IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) — The Allegheny County Airport Authority is advertising for bids from companies that want to lease the right to drill for natural gas at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The authority sought bids once before, in 2008, but go no bids. At the time, airport officials blamed that on plummeting natural gas prices and the meltdown of financial markets in the United States and overseas. Since then, the discovery of Marcellus shale gas has revived the industry in western Pennsylvania.

Authority chairman David Minnotte says, "Seeking leases for gas drilling is an important means of generating non-aviation revenue." That could reduce gate fees the authority charges airlines which, in turn, could help passengers see more and cheaper flights.

The current proposal has a Dec. 5 deadline and seeks 18 percent royalties on any gas produced.

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