This article originally appeared on RDU Connect.
Santa came early this year at RDU, delivering new air service to destinations on our wish list – Paris, Salt Lake City and Seattle – and a rise in passenger counts after several flat years.
Most gratifying of the gifts we received in 2015 was a groundswell of community support for two key initiatives.
A true public-private partnership of business, government and community partners and the Regional Transportation Alliance helped the Airport Authority provide a $2.2 million, start-up risk mitigation package, as well as marketing support, for our Paris flight.
The community has been fully engaged in our Vision2040 master planning project, an 18-month study that will chart airport development for the next 25 years. Members of policy and technical advisory committees, local government officials, business leaders and members of the public have contributed time and valuable insights that will serve our airport, community and economy in the coming decades.Economist Mike Walden estimates the new international flight will generate at least $25 million in regional economic impact and 100 new jobs in the first year – a gift that keeps on giving.
RDU’s air service expanded significantly this year, with Delta announcing it will begin nonstop flights to Salt Lake City as well as Paris next spring. Six other airlines launched flights to nine destinations popular with our business and leisure travelers.
We were honored with numerous awards that reflect our values and the high-quality service we seek to provide. SkyTrax ranked RDU the No. 7 regional airport in North America and one of the top 100 airports in the world. Airports Council International – North America named RDU an Inclusion Champion for sustained work to diversify our workforce and small business contractor base. Triangle Business Journal named RDU the No. 1 Healthiest Employer in the Triangle.
2015 marks a pivotal year of rebound, progress and looking forward. As we head into the new year, we at RDU want to thank you for all you do to support our efforts to ensure the airport remains a key economic asset and driver.
We wish you a wonderful holiday season and all the best in 2016!