Local News

Despite Setbacks, RDU Cautiously Optimistic About Future

Posted September 20, 2001

— With Midway Airlines' untimely demise and other airlines cutting back flights and staff, how is

RDU International

holding up? Wednesday, the airport authority discussed a number of topics that affect how you fly.

According to RDU officials, things are actually much busier than they look. Parking and security restrictions have reduced traffic, but things are getting closer to what will be a new norm.

Ticket agents are getting busier in Terminal A, the busiest at RDU. Security measures slow the process, but planes and passengers are finding friendlier skies, as 90 percent of flights are back in the air.

"The passenger activity at this point has rebounded. Probably 45 percent to 50 percent of seats are being filled on average," RDU Director John Brantley said.

The airport authority said that the airport is in good financial shape. Landing fees will be raised next week to make up for money lost when Midway Airlines declared bankruptcy.

Park and ride lots 2 and 4 are closed to the public because now there is more parking closer to the terminals.

More service may be on the way.

"If the airlines are in fact going to make a recovery, and I'm confident they will, they are going to do it where the traffic gives them the greatest opportunity, and RDU gives them one of those points," Brantley said.

America West will start their service in January rather than next month, and Southwest Airlines said it will continue plans to add flights to Phoenix starting Oct. 7.

No airline has announced cuts in RDU flights.

As work continues on a new parking deck, planning continues cautiously for other new projects as well.

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