RDU Challenges Community Leaders to Match a $2.1 Million Investment in International Air Service

RDU Airport, NC – The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority today pledged $2.1 million to attract international air service and challenged community leaders to match it. RDU made the announcement at its first Aviation Symposium, which was held this morning.

Airport Authority staff will be reaching out to state and local governments, Chambers of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureaus and local businesses to discuss the community’s participation in matching funds to attract new international service.

At this morning’s symposium, community leaders learned about the impact of one international flight on the Research Triangle Region from N.C. State University Economist Dr. Mike Walden and respected aviation economist Dr. Willilam Swelbar.

Key facts released at today’s symposium include:

In the first year, one new international flight:

• Equals $25 million in net economic spending in the Triangle

• Creates 100 new jobs

• Increases access to over 40 foreign markets with $300 billion annual income growth

• Saves Triangle travelers $50-100 million in ticket and travel time costs

By year 25 an international flight:

• Results in $171 million in economic spending

• Is responsible for 684 jobs

• Boosts Triangle GDP by $1.4 billion and 14,000 jobs

• Adds $272 million in local public revenues

RDU can support additional international flights:

• The demand for international travel from RDU is greater than the current supply

• 1.5 million people travel between RDU and international destinations each year

• RDU currently has one daily nonstop transatlantic flight

• Travel between RDU and international destinations grew 29 percent between 2008 and 2013

• International travel to emerging markets such as Asia and India is growing

• RDU is 12th largest U.S. airport in terms of passenger demand to India

• 30,000 people travel between RDU and India annually

The Triangle is well-positioned for a new international flight.

• Real GDP growth in the Triangle is 2x faster than the U.S. average

• Triangle job growth is 3x faster than the U.S. average

• College degree rate is 41 percent higher than U.S. average

• Annual international exports total $5 billion

• Nearly 150 international companies have a presence in the Triangle

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