Major Changes Planned For RDU International
Posted January 21, 2002 1:37 a.m. EST
RDU INTERNATIONAL — Big changes are on the way for
. The airport hopes to take over Terminal C from American Airlines, which would prevent a lot of unneeded construction and spread the airlines' load more evenly between the terminals.
Terminal C was built by American Airlines in 1987 for its long-gone hub. If everything works out, the airport will buy out American's lease while the airline continues to pay off $78 million in bonds. In a couple of years, travelers could see some needed updates in the 15-year-old terminal, including more aircraft gates.
"They'll probably see some additional ticketing counter space, baggage system improved, since it was designed originally only to house a hub facility," said Teresa Damiano of RDU International.
The airport had big plans to replace terminal A. But first it planned to build a temporary terminal.
Terminal A is RDU's busiest terminal. Changes at Terminal C could alleviate some of the crowding at the ticket area and on the airplanes' side.
"The additional aircraft gate space would then allow us to have the flexibility to reposition some carriers from the Terminal A side," Damiano said.
Expanding use of Terminal C gives the airport the opportunity to re-develop Terminal A more efficiently.
"Timewise, [there'd be] less customer interruption, less airline operations interruptions," Damiano said.
Work could begin inside Terminal C in early 2003, a few months before the airport's newest parking deck is completed.
The airport has several financing options, including bonds, federal grants and a passenger facility charge which the airport authority has been studying for some time.