The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority voted Thursday to expand its Terminal C redevelopment project, the largest in the airport's history.
The vote paves the way for the demolition and replacement of the Terminal C south concourse. Until Thursday, the redevelopment project focused on the construction of a new north concourse and ticketing, security checkpoint and baggage claim areas.
"Today's decision to move forward with the south concourse illustrates the authority's commitment to building a new terminal that enhances the customer experience but is also cost-effective," W. Stephens Toler, chairman of the board of the Airport Authority, said Thursday. "By moving forward, the authority can take advantage of current material costs and ensure a consistent and comprehensive redevelopment of Terminal C."
The addition of the south concourse to the redevelopment and expansion brings the total budgeted cost of the project to $570 million, up from $430 million.
With the construction of the south concourse, the new Terminal C will be more than three times larger than its predecessor, growing from 330,000 to 893,000 square feet. When completed, the new terminal will feature 32 gates, three ticketing islands with 60 airline check-in counters, 10 security checkpoint lanes and five baggage carousels.
The new terminal will feature the latest in airport design and technology. An inline baggage screening system will remove all checked luggage screening equipment from the lobby. The terminal will also feature an expanded Federal Inspection Services facility for international travelers.
Built in 1987 as a -- now defunct -- hub for American Airlines, Terminal C was built with limited space for ticketing, security checkpoints and baggage claim. With more than 95 percent of RDU passengers now completing their travel at RDU, the airport required expanded space in those areas.
The new Terminal C will open in phases between 2008 and 2010.
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