RDU Board Approves Nearly $50 Million in Federal Relief Funding

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority’s Board of Directors voted Friday to accept $49.5 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The act provides $10 billion in new funds for all airports that are considered part of the national airport system. Under the CARES act, airports must maintain 90 percent of their workforce – after making adjustments for retirements or voluntary separations – through the end of 2020. RDU’s portion of the funding will be used to help pay for debt service, salaries and benefits.

“The CARES Act provides relief to airports at a time when revenue has dropped to unsustainable levels,” said Michael J. Landguth, president & CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “The federal funding combined with our ‘survival budget’ will help RDU keep the lights on and financially stable during this unprecedented time in our industry.”

Runway 5R/23L Repairs: the Board of Directors also voted Friday to approve a nearly $600,000 contract with Fred Smith Company to continue the rehabilitation of RDU’s secondary runway, 5R/23L. The asphalt runway was fully rehabilitated most recently in 2008 with additional repair work performed in the summer of 2019.

The 2019 repairs consisted of paving the centerline for nearly the full length of the runway and a section between Taxiway A1 and A5. The work involved in-pavement light can adjustments, grooving and the restoration of pavement markings. The repairs approved today are located between Taxiway A5 and A7 and will involve light adjustments, pavement grooving and pavement marking.

Runway 5L/23R Preservation: the multi-year effort to preserve RDU’s primary runway, 5L/23R, concluded for 2020 when the last slab of new concrete was poured on April 23. The emergency preservation work began in 2019 and is one of the airport’s most important capital projects. Concrete on the 10,000-foot runway has deteriorated after more than three decades of use and the runway requires regular removal and replacement of old concrete slabs so large international aircraft and heavy cargo planes can continue to use it.

RDU replaced 117 slabs during two 90-day phases of work in 2019 and another 108 slabs were replaced last month. Lower passenger traffic allowed RDU to close the runway throughout the duration of the project and get the work done ahead of schedule for the year.