Photo of Terminal 1

About the Terminal 1 Project


The Terminal 1 Modernization Project has a $68 million upgrade to the central section of Terminal 1, which opened in 1982. The building was originally planned and designed as a hangar for aircraft but was converted for use as a “temporary” passenger terminal. The terminal became the airport’s primary terminal from the time it opened until Terminal 2 opened in October 2008. Learn about Terminal 1's history.

Project Features
The familiar blue panels on Terminal 1 are gone, replaced by a sleek steel and translucent exterior. Here are some other great things you can expect when the building opens. View renderings of the building.

  • Natural Light. Abundant natural light now fills the ticketing lobby, bag claim area, security checkpoint and concourse thanks to large windows and translucent panels that let in sunlight without a harsh glare.
  • Open Spaces. We’ve raised the ceilings throughout the concourse and gate waiting areas and security checkpoint. We’ve moved walls and columns to provide more open space throughout the building.
  • Easy Navigation. The path from ticketing through security to the concourse has been streamlined with new elevators, escalators and a staircase. The security checkpoint has been relocated to one level in an expanded area with four checkpoint lanes.
  • New Exit Path. Arriving passengers will use a newly-designed, intuitive path to exit the concourse and make their way to bag claim. This corridor is located in the center of the building, making it a very short walk from all gates.
  • Pre-Security Concessions. As you enter the terminal from the parking garage, one of the first things you will encounter when it opens in Summer 2014 is a Starbucks in bag claim. There will also be retail offerings in automoatic kiosks.
  • New Shops of RDU. Terminal 1 is home to new stores and restaurants as part of The Shops of RDU. These include new food concepts never before featured at RDU as well as retail outlets making their first appearance at RDU. Learn more.
  • Covered Curbsides. A canopy attached to the building keeps passengers dry and in the shade while arriving or departing via private cars. Further out, a large canopy shelters customers who are utilizing shuttles to our rental car facilities, local hotels and Park & Ride.
  • Behind The Scenes Improvements. The new design of Terminal 1 places the large explosive detection machines required of airports behind the scenes. These have been incorporated into a new bag handling system that moves bags via conveyor belts from ticketing through the screening process.