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RDU International to Limit Designated Smoking Areas

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RDU INTERNATIONAL — When you walk through airport terminals, you see areas designated for smokers. That is about to change atRDU International.

The RDU Airport Authority has signed off on a new smoking policy, calling it a win-win solution for smokers and non-smokers.

This fall, airport smokers will only be allowed to light up at four bars located in Terminals A and C.

John Karas enjoys a smoke or two with his buddies between flights and sees no problem with the new plan.

"We've landed at another airport and they have a glassed in area which, even to a smoker, I think, is very irritating. If they just confine it to one or two areas, I think that's adequate," says Karas.

A filtration and ventilation system has been installed in the roof of one bar and grill; similar systems will be installed in the three other designated smoking bars. RDU spokesperson Mike Blanton says the system will operate like an air vacuum.

"The filtration system will pull air that doesn't have any smoke in it from the concourse area across the non-smoking area and then across the smoking area," says Blanton. Once that happens, the air is pulled outside.

While the airport authority sees the plan as a solution for smokers and non-smokers, some travelers are a little skeptical of the plan.

"I don't think there's ever going to be a balance. You'll have to keep them separated some kind of way," says traveler Keith Ardre.

The revised smoking policy will take effect the second week in September. That will give airport officials time to notify passengers and test the new system.