Trespassing, criminal activity and environmental damage caused by years of building and using illegal bike trails are key concerns as RDU considers constructing perimeter fencing around airport property.
“A perimeter fence would enhance security and keep trespassers off the airport’s land,” said Bill Sandifer, senior vice president and chief operating officer at the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “The airport has documented evidence of environmental violations caused by trespassers hiking and biking on airport property. The only way to remediate the damage and prevent further erosion is to keep trespassers off the property.”
Sandifer presented information to the Airport Authority’s Board of Directors Thursday about repeated environmental violations and the security risk of having trespassers on airport property.
The land that would be protected by the fence is controlled by the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and intersects with the Reedy Creek multi-use trail at Umstead State Park. RDU is working with the state parks system to ensure that any fencing does not block access to the trail or park facilities. Authority staff are also meeting with adjacent land owners to discuss the plans.
The proposed perimeter fence along RDU’s eastern border would be the first section of a multi-phased, multi-year project to secure all airport property. It would be built behind a ten-foot existing natural buffer of trees and vegetation that would separate it from the property adjacent to the airport, including Umstead State Park. The fencing layout has always included that natural buffer as a setback from the airport’s boundary.
You can watch Sandifer’s presentation to the Board of Directors here.