RDU Travelers Continue to Fly at Increasing Rates 

Airlines Expand Service and Provide More Options

More than 772,000 passengers flew through RDU in May, setting another pandemic record. The jump in travelers reflects a 688% increase over the same month last year, but 41% below May 2019.

“We are excited to see passengers returning to air travel in large numbers as traffic rebounds at RDU,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “Our enhanced health and safety measures, along with more widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, is restoring passenger confidence and boosting the airport’s recovery.”

Air Service: Airlines are providing Triangle travelers more options as they continue to expand service at RDU. Sun Country Airlines has extended its inaugural season at RDU through the end of November. Spirit Airlines also recently announced it will begin daily nonstop service between RDU and Miami on Nov. 17.  And, American Airlines announced that it will launch twice daily nonstop service to Tampa on Nov. 2.

Runway 5L/23R Replacement Project Updates: RDU is entering the beginning stages of its most significant and dynamic airport infrastructure project, the proposed primary runway 5L/23R replacement program.

The Authority is working with a consultant team in tandem with the Federal Aviation Administration to prepare an environmental assessment. The team will soon publish a public information webpage, complete with information about the National Environmental Policy Act and environmental assessment process, details about the airport’s public outreach process and answers to frequently asked questions.

The runway 5L/23R environmental assessment page can be found under “Public Information” at RDU.com.

The Authority and the FAA plan to share a presentation via the new webpage to provide the community and airport stakeholders with an overview of the scope of work involved in the environmental assessment and allow for public comment. The public will then have 30 days to review and provide comments on issues they believe should be addressed in the assessment. Comments will be accepted from July 21 to Aug. 23. Comments may be submitted electronically or by regular mail.

TSA Updates Airport Face Covering Requirement: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently updated its guidance on the security directive that requires everyone at the airport to wear a face covering. Airport workers and guests are no longer required to wear a face covering in open-air areas of the airport, which include all parking facilities and the terminal curb. The face covering requirement remains in place for all other areas of the airport, including the terminals and other airport buildings, until Sept. 13. 

Southwest 50th Anniversary: The Authority congratulates Southwest Airlines on 50 years of service. All week, their RDU team has celebrated with guests, culminating in their anniversary tomorrow, June 18. Southwest has been a valued partner to RDU since the first flight took off in 1999, and a wonderful airline option for our community when they “Wanna Get Away.”