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PITTSBURGH-US Airways Inc. has broken ground for a 60,000-sf flight operations control center on 10 acres in Moon Township adjacent to Pittsburgh International Airport. The project cost is $25 million, and the building is expected to be fully operational in early 2009.

Pennsylvania competed fiercely against proposed locations in Phoenix and Charlotte, NC, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. An $11-million incentive package helped “seal the deal,” says Gov. Ed Rendell, who credits Allegheny County principals and the airport authority with partnering in assembling the package.

It includes a loan of up to $4 million from the state’s machinery and equipment loan fund, up to $2 million in opportunity grants, a $2-million loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, up to nearly $1.3 million in infrastructure development grants, up to $1 million in customized job training funds, and about $750,000 in job creation tax credits. The airline is also eligible to apply for a $6-million low-cost loan from the Citizens Bank job bank program.

US Airways, the fifth largest domestic airline, is the dominant carrier at this airport, accounting for an estimated 60% of traffic. It will consolidate its Phoenix and Pittsburgh operations in the new building, which will be responsible for its flight operations worldwide. In addition to retaining 450 employees here, the company has agreed to add 150 new jobs within three years.

Scott Kirby, president of the Tempe, AZ-based airline calls the facility “the nerve center for our airline’s operations,” in a statement. He previously said the decision to expand here was “the best operational and financial choice for our people and our airline.”

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