Towns seek Pittsburgh Airport gas drilling bounty

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A deal to allow natural gas drilling at the Pittsburgh Airport could generate $500 million in royalties over the next few decades, but for now none of that money will go directly to Allegheny County or nearby townships.

That’s because Federal Aviation Administration rules mandate that any revenue generated by minerals or agricultural products go back to the airport.

Allegheny County officials have accepted the rule but haven’t given up hope. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says if there’s an opportunity for the rule to be changed, they’ll pursue that.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority approved the deal with Consol Energy in February. The company paid a signing bonus of $50 million, and officials hope royalties will add $450 million over the next 20 years.

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