RDU Taps Into Research Triangle Talent on COVID-19 Challenges


RDU is tapping into the best minds in the Research Triangle region to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel. The airport is already helping passengers fly with confidence by increasing its cleaning and disinfecting practices, requiring that masks be worn in the terminals, encouraging physical distancing and using touchless technology. Now RDU wants to identify additional ways to make air travel safe and welcoming by leveraging the talents of local universities and research institutes.

RDU is working with Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and RTI International to improve the air travel experience by finding more ways to keep passengers safe and healthy during the parking, ticketing, screening, waiting, shopping, dining and boarding processes.

The airport and its partners have launched the Triangle Impact Challenge 2021: FlyRDU – an opportunity for students, faculty, and employees to serve as a driving force to design and develop innovative solutions that redefine the future of safe travel. A total of $120,000 of funding is available for the challenge with the potential for multiple awards.

Participants will be allowed to examine any aspect of the airport’s operation, from cleaning and disinfecting protocols to queuing procedures and building design. The submissions could range from new technologies to proposed health screenings, operational adjustments or any other advancement that could improve the travel experience by limiting the spread of illness.

The FlyRDU Challenge kicked off this month with a broad appeal inviting students, faculty and staff and university affiliated startups at Duke, N.C. Central, N.C. State, UNC and RTI International to consider submitting proposals. The first round of projects are due Nov. 16 and will be judged by a panel of experts before finalists are announced the week of Dec. 21, 2020.
To learn more about the Triangle Impact Challenge 2021: FlyRDU visit https://bit.ly/FlyRDU.