RDU is the Fastest Growing Airport in the U.S. Top 50

July 4th Traffic Exceeds 2019 by 6%:

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is the fastest-growing airport in the country based on the year-over-year number of airline seats available to book. According to information provided by the airlines, there are 190,000 more seats available on RDU flights in July 2023 than there were in July 2022. That’s a 22.5 percent increase—the highest percentage growth among the Top 50 airports in the continental U.S.  

“We are seeing signs of growth everywhere at RDU, from new airlines and destinations to more passengers in the terminals and construction projects that will enhance the travel experience for airport guests in years to come,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “Summer continues to be our busiest season and it is putting us on track for a record-breaking year.” 

Passenger Traffic: RDU saw its busiest month so far this year with 1,347,508 passengers flying through the airport in June, a 22 percent increase compared to June 2022 and one percent higher than June 2019. July 4th travel contributed to the growth at RDU, with the long holiday weekend bringing more passengers to the airport than RDU saw in 2019. Nearly 256,800 passengers flew through RDU from July 2 through July 7, an increase of six percent over 2019 and 24 percent more than 2022. 

New Flights: Air France will become RDU’s 15th airline when it launches direct flights to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in October. The airline will connect the Research Triangle to Paris when it takes over service as part of its partnership with Delta Air Lines, who currently flies the route. The Paris service is timed to provide ideal connections from CDG to Air France’s network of nearly 200 destinations in Europe, India and beyond. Service is scheduled to begin on Oct. 30 and fly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on a 279-seat Boeing 787, a larger aircraft that has not previously flown from RDU. Breeze Airways will also add another route to its lineup this fall when it begins nonstop service to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers in November.  

Sustainability Practices: A mid-year update about progress on the Airport Authority’s sustainability program and other sustainability successes at the airport was published this month. RDU also has a Sustainability Policy that commits the Authority to acting in a sustainable manner by considering long-term environmental, economic, social and operational impacts in its decision-making processes. The sustainability update can found at rdu.com/sustainability.  

Electric Bus Funding: RDU received a $3.4 million grant from the FAA to purchase four more zero emissions buses and associated charging infrastructure. The funding is part of a $92 million program to help airports across the country implement sustainable practices. RDU was the first public body in the Research Triangle region to use zero-emission electric buses when it put four 40-foot shuttles into service in 2019. The Airport Authority will double its electric bus fleet when four additional electric buses that are currently in production go into service early next year. The grant announcement will grow RDU’s electric bus fleet to 12. 

Federal Grants: RDU was awarded two federal grants to help fund critical Vision 2040 capital projects. The first is a $10 million grant for the second phase of the North Cargo Taxilane Reconstruction project. The Airport Authority will also receive a $15 million federal grant to help pay for the replacement of Runway 5L/23R and Taxiway B, RDU’s most important capital project.