RDU Airport, N.C. – Last night, the North Carolina Senate set the State on a flight path to economic prosperity by increasing appropriations for commercial airports in their annual budget (SB 257).
“This is welcome news to airports, communities and travelers around the State, who deserve a safe and efficient aviation system,” said Michael Landguth, President and CEO, Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). “The federal funding system alone cannot be relied upon to help our state compete for jobs and business investment. The North Carolina Senate’s innovative approach to funding critical projects like runways, taxiways, terminals and more, will undoubtedly keep North Carolina at the front of the pack.”
RDU’s primary runway, 5L/23R, is at the end of life and needs to be replaced. The runway opened in 1986, will be relocated 500 feet to the west of its current location. This gives RDU the additional flight capacity and terminal expansion space necessary to keep pace with rising travel demand. If the runway is not replaced, nonstop flights to the west coast, London and Paris could be at risk. The runway program is the centerpiece of the Airport’s 25- year master plan Vision 2040 focusing on the airfield, terminals, ground transportation and general aviation infrastructure.
WHAT IS NEXT
RDU is very encouraged by the Senate’s leadership on aviation funding and we hope the North Carolina House of Representatives will join the Senate to increase state funding for airports in North Carolina. “Business requires a thriving commercial airport,” added Landguth. “RDU is at the heart of it all. These leaders are positioning our great State for economic prosperity and we are so grateful to be part of that.”
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.