Passenger Traffic Increases 1,415% in April

RDU Adjusts Parking Rates to Account for Growth

RDU set a pandemic record in April with a 1,415 percent increase in passenger traffic over April 2020. More than 606,000 passengers flew through RDU during the month.

“We are excited to see passengers returning to air travel in large numbers as traffic rebounds at RDU,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “Our enhanced health and safety measures, along with more widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, is restoring passenger confidence and boosting the airport’s recovery.”

Although passenger traffic at RDU is increasing, it is still well below pre-pandemic numbers. April 2021 traffic was down 47 percent compared to April 2019.

Parking Rate Changes: RDU has adjusted its parking offerings to ensure all customers can continue to enjoy easy access to airport parking facilities on their next trip. Online rates for Central will remain at $10 a day. The Central drive-up rate will increase to $12 a day – still discounted from the pre-pandemic daily rate. The Premier online rate will decrease to $16 a day. The Premier gate or drive-up rate will remain at $22 a day.

RDU reduced the Central rate by $5, or one-third, last year when it consolidated all airport parking into the deck. By keeping the discounted $10 a day maximum rate for Central available that is available through online booking at, RDU will continue to deliver value for customers seeking an affordable parking option.

RDU’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been marked by spikes in traffic over holidays, followed by slower growth in between. During Easter weekend, RDU’s Central parking deck reached nearly 81 percent full and Premier was about 48 percent filled.

RDU will consider re-opening remote lots as more travelers return to RDU causing current parking options to consistently near capacity. The re-opening process takes time due to many factors, from evaluating staffing and training needs to the expense associated with remote lot operation. RDU will continue to evaluate parking trends, rates and promotions to help manage parking capacity and provide guests with a range of options.

Booking your parking online in advance will always guarantee the lowest rate available. Deal-shoppers should bookmark and sign up for email updates to make sure they know about discounts and special offers. Booking online also allows each guest to enjoy seamless, contactless entry and exit.

TSA Mask Mandate: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the federal mask mandate through September 13, previously set to expire this month. The extension means wearing a mask will continue to be a requirement at airports and on board commercial flights. The CDC recently announced that fully vaccinated travelers can travel safely within the U.S., and has eased its guidance for vaccinated individuals wearing masks indoors, but airport facilities remain subject to the TSA mask mandate. Exemptions to the face mask requirement for travelers under the age of two years old and those with certain disabilities will continue.

REAL ID: Travelers will have two more years to get a REAL ID driver license or identification card. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has moved the deadline from October 2020 to May 2023. After that date, passengers will be required to present a Real ID when boarding a domestic flight or conducting business like visiting a federal courthouse. Postponing the enforcement of the last phase of the REAL ID Act will give DMVs across the country more time to process the new credentials after many closed or reduced services because of the pandemic.