Surging Air Travel Aids Revamp of Raleigh-Durham Airport

The airport authority this week began increasing its budget for the building that will replace RDU's cramped Terminal C. The new price is $555 million.


Airlines scheduled to use the new terminal: Air Canada, American, American Eagle, United (now in Terminal C). Delta, Continental, Northwest, US Airways, America West (moving from Terminal A).

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TIMELINEWhy scrap a terminal open only since 1987?

1987: The red-roofed Terminal C opens as a hub for American Airlines. Most passengers arrive on one jet and depart on another.

2002: RDU acquires Terminal C from American Airlines and shelves a major overhaul of Terminal A.

2003: RDU settles on a plan to replace Terminal C.

2005: Demolition of the north concourse and 13 of Terminal C's 26 gates.

2006-08: Construction of new north concourse and most of the expanded front hall with ticketing, bag claim and security checkpoint areas.

Summer 2008: Most of new front hall opens, along with north concourse with 17 gates.

2008-2010: Construction of the remaining portion of the front hall and reconstruction of the central concourse. South concourse, previously scheduled for renovation, expected to be rebuilt instead.

2010: New terminal opens with 32 to 35 gates.

Terminal C was designed for use as an American Airlines "hub" terminal. Most passengers arrived on one plane, walked across the concourse and flew out on another plane.

It was built with a small lobby, ticketing and bag claim areas because only 20 percent of its passengers used the front door -- starting or ending their flights at RDU.

RDU no longer serves as a hub for thousands of travelers making connecting flights every day. More than 95 percent of its passengers arrive or leave on the ground.

The front half of Terminal C is too small to meet their needs, airport officials say, and Terminal A also is filled to capacity. The new terminal will give the airport room to grow.



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