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Overnight Skies at RDU Are Already Busy

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RALEIGH — As FedEx tries to decide where to locate its newest hub, debate is really taking off in the Triangle. Nighttime noise is the biggest complaint from opponents. However, WRAL discovered some surprising figures on existing overnight air activity at RDU.

Fifty-five flights already take off and land each night from RDU International. They are mainly air cargo flights. Six cargo companies -- FedEx, UPS, Emery, BAX Global, ABX, and DHL -- maintain busy schedules at RDU.

FedEx says that their hub would bring 40 flights -- 20 arrivals and 20 departures -- to RDU each night. The airport considers a "night flight" as any flight occurring between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

RDU Airport Authority member James Hyler reacted to our figures with surprise.

Harvey Schmitt, the executive director of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, says that people don't really realize how much is already going on at the airport.

Raleigh City Councilman Benson Kirkman, who opposes the hub, says that comparisons between FedEx's Fort Worth hub and the proposed Raleigh-Durham hub are not reasonable.

Kirkman says that besides the noise, FedEx is being too secretive about its plans. For instance, they say, FedEx won't talk about the possibility of the number of nightly flights increasing.


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