RDU Tops Record for Passenger Traffic in 2019

New Record Also Set for the Month of December


RDU continues to experience record-setting growth, with 14.2 million passengers flying through the airport last year – an 11% increase over 2018. RDU also hit an all-time high in December by serving 600,000 passengers. That is a 14% increase over December of 2018 and a new record for the month.

“We are pleased that a record number of passengers chose RDU for business and leisure travel in 2019,” said Michael Landguth, president & CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “Along with the increase in passenger volume comes growing pains on campus as we work to position RDU for the future.”

Seven months experienced double-digit year-over-year growth in 2019. July was the busiest month in airport history, with more than 679,000 travelers boarding flights throughout the month. Dec. 1 set a single-day record with approximately 54,800 passengers. RDU has experienced 55% growth since 2011.

New Flavors, Local Brews Six new dining options opened in Terminal 2 this month as part of RDU’s new relationship with concessions tenant Areas USA. Passengers can now enjoy the local breweries Bond Brothers and Raleigh Taproom, international flavors from Wow Bao and Cantina Grill, and convenient dining options such as Deli & Co. and Rush Bowls.

Two of our popular locations, Bruegger’s Bagels and California Pizza Kitchen, will remain open while Areas assumes management of each. CPK will now serve beer and wine, as well as an enhanced menu with breakfast options. These additions underscore RDU’s effort to reimagine concessions at the airport. Travelers can expect more locally-inspired choices and quality dining experiences.

Local Bakery to Open in Terminal 2 La Farm Bakery & Café will be featured in a patio setting at the Marketplace of Terminal 2 beginning in late spring, serving Counter Culture coffee and La Farm’s signature bakery items along with grab and go sandwiches. La Farm will feature a full bar with beer, wine and spirits. A signature oven will be on full display for guests to see and smell the fresh baked breads offered at the airport location. La Farm will also feature a section of retail merchandise for guests looking for a last-minute gift.

Baggage Handling Improvements A new baggage handling control system has undergone final testing and received TSA approval at RDU. The $3 million project improves the overall efficiency, reliability, and capacity of the Terminal 2 baggage handling control system that dates back to the original installation in 2008. As a next step toward improving the baggage handling systems in Terminals 1 and 2, RDU will work with TSA to upgrade their baggage screening equipment. An award for that project is expected to be made in the spring.

Parking Spaces Reduced Work to improve levels 2 – 6 of the parking garage resumed in early January after pausing during the busy holiday season. The number of available spaces in the garage will be reduced by an average of 1,150 a week from January through mid-May.

When the work was going last year, the deck periodically reached capacity and had to be closed temporarily due to the reduced number of available spaces. RDU recommends that customers reserve parking in advance with the new online booking system. Customers who book online at least 24 hours ahead get guaranteed entry at the lowest daily rate.

New electronic signs across campus notify drivers which parking lots are open and which are closed. The signs also remind customers that even if a particular lot is full, there are still spaces available for people who booked online.

Digital Savings Passport RDU has launched a new digital coupon book called the RDU Savings Passport that allows customers to sign up for coupons that go straight to their smart phones. The passport offers exclusive deals and discounts for shopping and dining in our terminals. Passports are free and are delivered instantly to your mobile device via text or email.

Travelers can opt in via text or sign up at RDU.com to get coupons for concessions in our terminals. The RDU Savings Passport builds on the success we’ve had with paper coupon books. Look for the signs in our terminals that tell you how to get your savings passport and be sure to use them while visiting our world-class concessionaires.