RDU Sets Another Monthly Record with More Than One Million Passengers 

Airport to Receive $1.3 Million for Runway Assessment

More than 1,088,000 passengers flew through RDU last month, a 41% increase over May 2021. The passenger count was also the highest number since the start of the pandemic for the second month in a row.  The number of daily departures continues to increase, with an average of 186 flights taking off each day – a 27% increase over May 2021. RDU’s recovery is now at 83% of 2019 traffic levels. 

“We are pleased to offer more dining options at RDU as we head into the busiest travel season of the year,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “With airlines investing in more flights and destinations, guests can enjoy even more diverse and convenient options this summer.”  

New Restaurant: RDU expanded its dining options when Uptown Burger opened in Terminal 2’s C Concourse this week. Uptown will serve burgers, sandwiches and fries from 12 p.m. – 7 p.m., every day except Tuesday and Wednesday. The Uptown Burger opening will be followed by RDU’s virtual kitchen later this summer, which will use a mobile ordering system to serve fare from multiple restaurants from one location.  

FAA Grant: The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Board voted at its monthly meeting Thursday to accept a $1.3 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fund the ongoing Environmental Assessment for the relocation of RDU’s primary runway, 5L/23R. The assessment, which has been in progress for over a year, is a critical step toward approval of RDU’s most significant capital project. While still safe for flying, the four-decade old runway has been undergoing emergency preservation work for several years as the Authority works toward building a new primary runway and reconstructing 5L/23R as a taxiway. The FAA recently determined the future runway, once approved, can be built at 10,639 feet – longer than the current 10,000 feet – to accommodate takeoff and landing of large aircraft to destinations on the west coast.  

National Guard Drive: The Board also voted Thursday to award a $1.4 million construction contract for the rehabilitation of National Guard Drive. The road intersects with Aviation Parkway near Sheetz and is showing signs of severe cracking and pavement deterioration. The rehabilitation project will include asphalt replacement and new pavement markings.  

International Flights: RDU welcomed back two international destinations in early June when American Airlines restarted nonstop service to London and Air Canada resumed nonstop flights to Montreal. London is RDU’s most popular international route, with Montreal landing in the Top Ten. The flights returned after a two-year hiatus amid increasing demand for international travel.  

Airline Expansion: Frontier Airlines expanded its service from RDU in late May when it began flying four additional routes, including Newburgh, New York – a new destination for RDU. Frontier also resumed nonstop flights to New Orleans, Cincinnati and Indianapolis that were paused in 2020. Avelo Airlines launched its first flight from RDU in late May, becoming the airport’s 13th airline when it began flying to Tweed-New Haven airport in southern Connecticut – another new nonstop route. The service to Tweed connects travelers with the New York metro area, RDU’s most frequented domestic destination.