Airport Authority Moves Forward With Wake County Land Lease Proposal

RDU Airport, N.C. – During its monthly meeting today, the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Board received an update on staff plans to take the next step toward accepting Wake County’s offer to lease two tracts of airport property, totaling approximately 150 acres. The proposal was one of three received during the Airport Authority’s recent request for proposals for Airport Authority land.

Following today’s action, the Airport Authority will conduct an appraisal of the property and then enter negotiations with Wake County. That process is expected to take between 60-90 days.

“The recommendation today affirms our commitment to work toward a win-win solution regarding the use of airport land,” said Airport Authority President and CEO Michael Landguth. “This approach allows the Authority to offer recreational opportunities on some property while complying with our federal obligations and grant assurances.”

If a contract is approved for the lease of this land, it would bring the total number of acres the Airport Authority provides for recreation in the community to approximately 331.

The Airport Authority has a long history of making airport land available for community recreational use. In 1985, the airport leased 33 acres to Wake County for the formation of Lake Crabtree County Park. In 1994, the airport leased an additional 148 acres adjacent to the park for single-track mountain biking trails.

The Federal Aviation Administration has strict guidelines, called federal obligations, on how airports may use land. This includes a prohibition on establishing parks; however, in certain instances recreational uses may be allowed. The intent is to protect the inherent civil aviation purpose of an airport from incompatible land uses.

About the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and its 300 staff operates and manages Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the primary air travel gateway to central North Carolina. The airport served more than 11 million passengers in 2016, about 30,000 customers every day. RDU is home to more than 5,000 employees and contributes more than $8.5 billion and 20,000 jobs to the region’s economy each year.  The Airport Authority has won the Triangle Business Journal’s Heathiest Employer of the Triangle for the past three years straight and in 2017 was named the best connected medium hub airport by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Center for Aviation.