RDU Breaks Ground on the Triangle’s Most Important Two Miles of Pavement 

Airport to Replace its Primary Runway

Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority leaders joined dignitaries and regional business leaders Wednesday in a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new primary runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).  

“As the signature project in the Airport Authority’s Vision 2040 master plan, the new runway will stretch more than two miles and connect the Triangle to destinations around the world,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “This critical infrastructure will allow RDU to keep up with the region’s increasing demand for air travel and help RDU recruit new airlines and more routes.” 

The new runway will be built at 10,639 feet, longer than the existing 10,000-foot primary runway, allowing long-haul aircraft to carry more passengers and cargo to destinations including the West Coast and Europe. It will be located 537 feet to the west of the current runway to allow for the future expansion of Terminal 2. 

The Airport Authority received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Aug. 31 to seek final permits and begin construction on the replacement runway.  

RDU’s existing primary runway was built in the mid-1980’s and is due to be replaced after nearly four decades of use. Once the new runway is complete, the existing runway will be rebuilt as a taxiway. The runway replacement project is expected to last five years and cost $500 million.