The ACAA paid a consultant (how much???) to come up with a "whitepaper" outlining the benefits of this Additive Manufacturing campus named "Neighborhood 91" which is to be on the airport's most prime undeveloped land. Here is the report:https://neighborhood91.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Neighborhood-91-Economic-Impact-Whitepaper.pdf
Having read the report I can't help but think it is nothing but a bunch of repetitive bullet points tied in with some wishful thinking written by a college intern. However I did chuckle at the following sentence on page 5: "Neighborhood 91 will act as a catalyst for AM industrialization and innovation with the creation of a cost-efficient ecosystem and the collection of smart people.
My juvenile side also chuckled at the terms "Cum Tenants
" and "Cum CO2e
" on page 14.
On a serious note, I must ask again, "Is this the best use of this land?" The land immediate adjacent to an airport's terminal complex should support passenger activities. Since the terminal opened in 1992 the only development on that entire side of the airport devoted to passenger service is the Hyatt hotel and a gas station. All the other hotels and service industries are STILL centered in Moon Twp over by the old terminal site as well as Robinson Town Center miles away. If not to be used for direct aviation related development then this land is well suited for additional hotels, etc. Along the lines the original WTC idea which has proven successful at airports across the globe. See Delhi's Aerocity. I really do wish success for this "Neighborhood 91" but for the life of me I don't know why it needs to be on that location as opposed to the southwest side of airport property across I-376. And if the campus really does take off then it will be hemmed in by the highway, terminal, and a runway.
On a related note, I can't help but note how many companies are based in Pittsburgh - large and small - that are major aerospace suppliers.
PPG - windows, coatings, paint, etc
Arconic - structural materials and components https://www.arconic.com/aerospace/
Allegheny Technologies (ATI) - specialty metals and engine components
Ansys - Artificial intelligence applications for aerospace
Astrobotic - robotic applications with large NASA contracts.
"According to Bloomberg Research, five Pittsburgh-based companies make the list of Boeing’s 90 largest suppliers.
Arconic ranks 26th, with 8.27 percent of its quarterly revenue linked to Boeing and an estimated $294.4 million quarterly relationship value. PPG Industries Inc. ranks 28th, with 3.66 percent of its quarterly revenue linked to Boeing and an estimated $139.9 million quarterly relationship value. Allegheny Technologies Inc. ranks 36th, with 5.64 percent of its quarterly revenue linked to Boeing and an estimated $54.04 million quarterly relationship value.
Further down the list, II-VI relies on Boeing for 3.57 percent of its quarterly revenue and has an estimated $12.9 million quarterly relationship value with Boeing. Ansys Inc. relies on Boeing for 0.38 percent of its quarterly revenue and has an estimated $1.42 million quarterly relationship value with Boeing.
That's just numbers for Boeing.
There are many more. I can't help but realize the larger of these companies are headquartered in Pittsburgh but don't manufacture much of anything in Pittsburgh any more. Same old story... high regulation, taxes, poor infrastructure in Pennsylvania drive these industries elsewhere. Here is a perfect example:
"A Pittsburgh-based company has bought 124 acres next to its plant in Monroe with plans for a 210,000-square-foot facility that would supply metals for the aerospace industry.
TDY Industries, a unit of Allegheny Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ATI), is going through the state permitting processes to build near Allegheny’s current ATI Specialty Materials plant. The site is east of the intersection of Airport and Goldmine roads in Monroe, 22 miles from uptown Charlotte.
The ACAA likes to tout collaboration with local universities such as their partnership with CMU, and having the University of Pittsburgh partner with "Neighborhood 91".
But Pittsburgh's own Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) ranked #1 among trade schools in the US according to Forbes. Pittsburgh has 3 of the top 25 trade schools actually.https://www.forbes.com/sites/cartercoudriet/2018/08/15/the-top-25-two-year-trade-schools-colleges-that-can-solve-the-skills-gap/#6cb94aa53478
PIA has outgrown their small space at AGC and has expanded outside the region to HGR, YNG, and MYR. Our loss.
So putting this all together, Pittsburgh has:
- major aerospace suppliers headquartered here
- one of the nation's best regarded aviation technical schools
- a major maintenance base for a major airline
- a major maintenance base for a large regional airline
- two military units, both of which fly and maintain heavy jets.
Wouldn't it make more sense to tie all that together and make a concerted effort to develop an aerospace cluster on airport land? Much like GSO has done? It is an airport after all. GSO created something huge from nothing. Pittsburgh has the benefit of leading educational institutions and companies already based here. Too bad PIA was never courted for an expanded campus at PIT and too bad the powers that be never put together a plan to incubate such an idea with lower business regulations, incentives, etc that are needed for what I'd call "Neighborhood 92"