Overhauled RDU terminal to open Sunday
Posted April 10, 2014
Morrisville, N.C. — Crews at Raleigh-Durham International Airport are putting the final touches on Terminal 1 before the renovated facility opens on Sunday.
Construction on Terminal 1 began nearly two years ago when crews stripped the building of its iconic blue panels and replaced them with translucent and silver panels to match the look of Terminal 2. The $68 million terminal was supposed to open March 2, but cold weather delayed work on the ramp area where planes park.
The renovated terminal includes nine gates, expanded ticketing, baggage claim and security screening area and more natural lighting, officials said. The 11 new shops and restaurants in the terminal include the first airport location for Raleigh-based Char-Grill and ACC American Café, the conference’s first licensed restaurant.
Originally called Terminal A, the building first opened in 1982 as a temporary terminal. American Airlines' decision to locate a hub at RDU required all other airlines to continue using the terminal – and the airport's 1950s-era terminal as an extension – until Terminal 2 opened more than five years ago.
The new terminal will be able to accommodate 3 million passengers a year, officials said. Southwest Airlines will occupy five of the gates, and the remaining four will allow other airlines to add flights in years to come.
The completion of Terminal 1 marks the end of a major era of infrastructure development at RDU, including construction of parking garages, the General Aviation Terminal and the two main terminals.