RDU Served 4.9 Million Travelers in 2020, a 66% Decrease from 2019

Airport Authority Welcomes New Chair and Board Member

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) closed 2020 with 66% fewer passengers than 2019 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of nearly 4.9 million passengers flew through RDU during the last calendar year, compared to a record-setting 14.2 million in 2019. The last time RDU served only 4.8 million passengers was in 1987.

“The aviation industry has recovered from many economic and health crises in its hundred-year history and it will recover from COVID-19,” said Michael Landguth, president & CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “With widespread distribution of vaccines, we are optimistic that passengers will regain confidence in flying and get back to traveling for business or to visit family and friends.”

The week beginning Dec. 28 was the busiest of the pandemic period with 112,000 total passengers but it represented a 56% decrease in traffic compared to the same week last year. Total traffic for December 2020 was 371,000 passengers, a 70% decrease from December 2019.

New Destinations: Delta Air Lines announced this month it will bring three nonstop routes back to RDU. Flights to Jacksonville, FL (JAX) and Austin, TX (AUS) will resume on Feb. 11 and are scheduled to operate four times a week. On Mar. 2, Delta is scheduled to bring back its daily nonstop flight to Las Vegas (LAS).

RDU added another nonstop route on Jan. 7, when American Airlines resumed nonstop service to Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C. These new flights help reconnect the Research Triangle to popular markets RDU customers want to visit for business and leisure.

Noise Webpage: RDU recently launched a new Noise webpage that provides helpful information about real estate, noise inquiries, flight tracking, runway operations and more

You can find the page under the “About the Authority” tab on RDU.com. The airport’s Noise Officer is also featured in Episode 4 of our podcast, The Fly Angle.

New Board Chair and Board Member: The Airport Authority Board welcomed an acting chair and new Board member at Thursday’s meeting. Patrick Hannah, Esq. was appointed to the Board by Durham County in 2015 and most recently served as Vice-Chair. Hannah has more than 25 years of combined experience in government affairs and finance. He is the Assistant Vice President and Legislative Counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance and the former Chairman of the Durham Area Transit Authority.

Ellis Hankins was appointed by Wake County in Jan. 2021 and began his term this month. Hankins is a senior attorney with the Brough Law Firm, PLLC and a visiting professor in graduate public policy and management programs at UNC­ Chapel Hill, N.C. State and Duke University. Ellis is also a senior vice president with The Mercer Group, Inc., a nationwide public sector consulting firm.