Master Plan Update: Planning for Growth

We just wrapped up the second Public Workshops for Vision2040, our Master Plan process.

We were thankful for everyone who joined us for these events in Raleigh and Durham and had some great conversations with everyone who attended. If you weren’t able to join us, we have a summary of what was discussed below and welcome any questions on our Vision2040 website.

Citizens discuss elements of the master plan with RDU’s consultant team from Ricondo & Associates during the recent meeting at Duke University in Durham.

During fall 2015, we reviewed the expected air travel trend over the next 25 years.  We found that despite economic, industry and global events, the demand for air travel continues to increase and should continue to do so in the years to come.

We have seen sustained growth in air travel over the past few years at RDU and expect that trend to continue.  By 2040, RDU could have between 7 to 12 million passengers boarding planes each year.

To put this into perspective, RDU had nearly 5 million passengers boarding planes in 2015.

How are we planning for this growth?

While we are examining projected passenger growth, we are also assessing our facilities.  We are reviewing services and facilities in both terminals including baggage claim, baggage handling, restrooms, check-in, security screening checkpoints, gate accommodations and more to determine where adjustments should be made to allow for the expected growth.

What does this mean for RDU?

Throughout this process we’ve discovered a few significant conclusions:

  • RDU’s airfield capacity is adequate through 2040.
  • An analysis of airfield operations is needed to determine future requirements for transpacific international service, and during the reconstruction of Runway 5L/23R.
  • A reconstruction of 5L/23R and related projects must occur within five years, which will lead to significant investment by the Airport Authority.
  • Additional gate capacity is needed in both terminals by 2040, depending on growth scenarios.
  • Immediate capacity improvements in Federal Inspection Services are needed to accommodate peak international travels.
  • Roadway and intersection improvements are needed.
  • Rental car facilities expansion is required to accommodate growth.

Based on our findings to date, we are identifying our list of alternatives for the Master Plan process. This is a list of solutions that will help us meet the demand that we predict for the next 25 years while also addressing issues that we’ve identified throughout this process.  We will review those over the coming months and decide which options best help us continue to deliver a world-class airport experience for our passengers.

As always, we want to hear from you.  If you have any questions or comments throughout this process, please contact us directly.