received their first look at the airport's proposed new terminal.
Architects unveiled plans Thursday for the new Terminal C, an 860,000-square-foot facility at a cost of $350 million.
"When people look at this building from around the country and they see a photograph of it or they see it in a commercial or something like that, they will say that's Raleigh-Durham." architect Curtis Fentress said.
Construction is slated to begin in this fall and will not be completed until 2009. In the meantime, airport officials hope the new terminal will attract more airlines.
"Certainly having a world-class airport is a key part of bringing in new airlines to serve our area," said Steve Toler, of the Airport Authority Board.
"Our numbers are continuing to grow. Airlines are adding additional service and we have a strong traveling market, and that is our No. 1 selling point," RDU spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin said.
The terminal will be paid for mostly through bonds that the airport will sell to companies and banks. The architects hired to create the new Terminal C are the same people hired to design the new airports in Denver and Seattle.
Nearly 8 million people flew in and out of the Triangle last year, which is actually down from previous years. The busiest was 2000 when more than 10 million passengers passed through the gates.
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