Vote slated Tuesday on Pa. airport drilling deal

PITTSBURGH — A deal that could be worth $500 million for rights to drill for natural gas and oil at Pittsburgh International Airport in western Pennsylvania could get final approval this week

The Allegheny County Council’s public works committee voted 4-1 with one abstention last week to approve the deal with Consol Energy Inc. A vote by the full council is scheduled Tuesday.

Under the deal, Consol will pay a signing bonus of $50 million and then 18 percent royalties on future production expected to total $450 million over two decades. The first wells would be drilled in late 2014 or early 2015.

The airport, about 10 miles outside the city, says it will use the money to lower costs to airlines in hopes of attracting more flights, and for capital improvements.