Local News

RDU To Add More Gates to Terminal A

Posted December 15, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Expansion is the word atRDU International Airport, where the airport authority met Thursday to talk about adding gates.

RDU is bursting at the seams. Passengers pack terminals, and long lines are normal.

"I would like to have more flights coming in and out of here," said passenger Gail Hendricks.

That is about to happen. The Airport Authority approved a $14 million interim expansion project that would add five new gates to the south end of Terminal A.

"Everything we do here is like a moving jigsaw puzzle," said Mike Blanton, RDU spokesman.

The Authority moved up the project in response to requests by several airlines for new gates. The booming growth in the Triangle has made the addition essential.

In the last 18 months, RDU has added three new airlines. Travel is up 23 percent, and passengers have felt the pinch.

"Raleigh is growing considerably in the last few years, and the ability to get more people in and out of here helps business. It helps me, and I'm the one who has to go through here," said traveler Larry Anderson.

RDU has come under fire in the past for lack of parking spaces and slow shuttle service. A new construction project brings concerns about the quality of customer service. Airport officials say it will not be a problem.

"Customer service is at the top of our agenda," said Blanton.

The new 47,000 square foot addition should be enough to give airlines and passengers some much needed elbow room.

This is all part of the long-term expansion project that should be complete in about five years. Construction could start on the five new gates as early as May, and they hope to finish in about 10 months.