Growth Drives Restart of Vision 2040 Projects:
RDU set another pandemic-era record in June with 1,102,281 passengers flying through the airport – an increase of 24% over June 2021 and the third consecutive month of record growth. Independence Day weekend was a busy one at RDU. TSA screened 91,346 passengers from Thursday, June 30th through Monday, July 4th. Passenger traffic has now recovered to 83% of 2019 levels.
“RDU is closing the gap on 2019 traffic and experiencing a renewed need to improve and expand our facilities to meet customer demand,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “This is an exciting time for the airport as we resume projects from our Vision 2040 master plan to accommodate continued growth and improve the guest experience.”
Terminal Expansion: The Airport Authority will move forward with advanced planning and preliminary design for a future landside expansion of Terminal 2, including curbside, ticketing, baggage claim, U.S. Customs facilities, TSA and concessions space and accommodations for future technology. Expansion of the terminal is part of RDU’s Vision 2040 master plan and will be needed to accommodate more travelers. The Board approved a $4.5 million task order Thursday to continue work that was put on hold in 2020. The timeline for final design and construction will be determined later.
Fuel Farm: The design phase for improvements to RDU’s fuel farm – a facility built in 1987 and last updated in 2007 – will resume after a pandemic-related pause. The Airport Authority approved a $424,000 agreement Thursday to complete design work on the Vision 2040 project that began in 2019. The improvements will ensure the fuel facility continues to operate safely and reliably.
Road Extension: RDU will also resume planning for an extension of John Brantley Boulevard to create space for a future Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CONRAC), a ground transportation center, additional parking, and/or other development between the terminals. Approval of a $1 million design task order allows the airport to restart this Vision 2040 project to address roadway congestion and help meet the growing demand for ground transportation.
Electric Vehicles: A $1.3 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will allow the Airport Authority to buy two more zero-emission buses. The fully electric 40-foot transit shuttle buses will be used primarily to shuttle passengers from economy parking to the terminals. The FAA grant will cover 75% of the cost to purchase the buses from Proterra, Inc. The airport will also purchase two more zero-emission buses without FAA funding, doubling its current fleet. RDU became the first public entity in the Triangle to use electric buses when it put four shuttles into service in 2019.