The Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) announced in June plans to expand portions of its main terminal, Terminal 2. Now, it seems the start of these renovations is close at hand.
RDU approved a $30 million contract Oct. 19, providing funding for the finalization of Terminal 2’s design plans. The approved construction measures will focus on alleviating congestion before the security checkpoint as passengers check in and enter the main area of the terminal.
According to the News & Observer, plans focus on “expanding the building at both ends to add more ticket counters, baggage carousels and security checkpoints.”
Specific additions outlined in the plans include two new sets of ticketing counters, three more baggage claim carousels and double the space for the TSA checkpoint.
The project also aims to revitalize the area of the airport dedicated to Customs and Border Protection, improving RDU’s ability to process international travelers arriving in North Carolina. With this expansion, the airport aims to increase its facility’s capacity from 400 passengers per hour to 1,000.
The need for expansion is rooted in a steady growth of traffic at RDU in recent years. Located between Raleigh and Durham, the airport serves as a vital transportation hub for travelers in the Triangle and beyond.
RDU is also the main airport used by Duke students, and an expansion of the main terminal stands to improve travel experiences for many by decreasing wait times and improving the facilities provided.
This particular renovation is only one part of wider efforts to renovate RDU in response to increased traffic. RDU’s 25-year growth plan, titled Vision 2040, aims to dramatically enhance the airport’s ability to handle increased travel demand in the Triangle.
The airport describes Vision 2040 as the “long-range roadmap” for RDU to follow for major construction projects, focusing on four primary areas — the airfield, terminals, ground transportation and general aviation.
Ultimate goals for Vision 2040 include the complete reconstruction of several major runways, significant improvements to both terminals both before and after security checkpoints, the renovation of airport roads and an expansion of available parking garages.
Vision 2040’s road renovations aim to make the process of getting to the airport much more streamlined. More gates in terminals aim to increase airline capacity and provide a wider range of flight options and destinations to Triangle residents, and the expansion of Customs and Border Protection aims to reduce issues with international arrivals.
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Bennett Gillespie is a Trinity first-year and a staff reporter for the news department.