While overall airline traveler satisfaction has declined recently, approval for the Raleigh-Durham International Airport has increased. In fact, I recently overheard a local resident say, “I wish I could get stuck at my own airport for a layover!” This is due in large part to expansion efforts designed to accommodate the needs of residents and business and leisure travelers in making their arrivals and departures more pleasant.
In November 2008, RDU completed the first of two phases of a redevelopment project. The new Terminal 2, formerly part of Terminal C, has 40 check-in kiosks, seven security lanes, 25 shops and restaurants, and 19 boarding gates. Already tourists traveling to and from the terminal have remarked appreciatively about shorter wait times to check-in.
Phase II involves the other part of old Terminal C, and it will add three more security checkpoints, two more baggage claim carousels, 17 more shops and restaurants, and 13 more boarding gates. It is slated to open in 2011.
What’s more, Delta has announced plans to begin nonstop flightsfrom RDU to Paris by 2010. Though the slowing economy has delayed it a year from when the original announcement said the service would begin, Delta has indicated it remains committed to establishing this flight. This is a boon to us, as the DeGaulle Airport will allow not only quicker access to Europe but also an easy transfer to nonstop flights to Asia as well. It will make us a new and convenient destination for international travelers.
Besides the tax benefits for Wake it generates for the county, RDU’s growth makes it competitive among other airports for business and impresses businesses looking to locate in Wake as an asset to reach their clients and customers. We’re one of a few airports in this region that offers all of these incredible resources.
RDU is a crown jewel for Wake County. Like other jewels, we should treasure it.