RDU INTERNATIONAL — Big changes are on the horizon at RDU International. The airport authority is tearing down the old Terminal C to make room for a new and improved wing, but not everyone thinks the renovation project is necessary.
When passengers travel through
, Terminal C is practically silent while Terminal A is busting at the seams.
"We recognized over the years that we have needed a new facility to take some of the strain off of Terminal A and to give airlines an opportunity to expand their presence here," said RDU spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin.
The airport authority plans to renovate the south part of Terminal C and demolish and rebuild the north half that was once the hub for Midway Airlines. The 5-year, $350 million project will create a new concourse, new ticket counters and a new security area.
, Jeff Vanke calls the project unnecessary and wasteful.
"I have not seen in the airport's communications any reason why demolition is necessary," he said.
Vanke is concerned about the inconvenience to passengers and fears the airport will raise parking and other fees to pay off the $350 million in bonds.
"They've got to pay for those somehow over 10 years. Bonds are not free money. You've got to pay it off with interest," he said.
"The renovation and redevelopment of Terminal C will not result in higher parking fee or ticket prices for passengers," Hamlin said.
Airport officials did request a $1.50 increase in the user fee tacked onto ticket prices, but they said no other fees will go up and passengers will not be inconvenienced.
"Since the north concourse of Terminal C is empty because of Midway's closure, passengers are not going to be affected," Hamlin said.
The demolition is set to begin in October. The airport authority will meet Thursday to talk about it. In the meantime, Vanke is trying to drum up opposition to stop it.