Local News

Airport Authority May Renovate Terminal C

Posted May 9, 2001 10:30 a.m. EDT

— Growth at Raleigh Durham International Airport is inevitable. The only question now is how much growth -- and how fast.

Terminal A will eventually be replaced at a cost of $1,000,000,000. But Wednesday, the Airport Authority also tossed out the idea of expanding Terminal C.

Board members looked at plans which would add gates, baggage claim areas, and ticket counter space.

"As we looked at Terminal A, we came to the conclusion that we had to do something about Terminal C. It needs some work and it needs to be incorporated into the overall plan [for the airport]," says Airport Authority board member Bob Winston.

Expanding Terminal C would eliminate the need for a temporary facility while Terminal A undergoes renovations. The Airport Authority says that would save $100,000,000.

The potential benefit for travelers is better service and possibly lower fares.

"I think having greater selection and having the terminal [capacity] for more flights and competition certainly helps flyers like me, who use [the airport] a lot," says Rick Robbins.

"I'm looking for low prices and a lot of opportunity, a lot of options and a lot of direct flights. That's what's important to me," says traveler Bruce McKinney.

By expanding Terminal C, the Airport Authority also hopes to help Midway Airlines. Midway now commands almost 30% of the traffic at RDU, with the potential for even more growth.

"Our interest is in trying to facilitate that [growth] because it's good for the entire community," says Airport Director John Brantley. "Our hometown airline [is] expanding service and going to locations where our business and leisure travelers want to go. We think we're heading in the right direction when we help them get there."

One potential complication is that American Airlines controls the leasing agreement on Terminal C until 2027. American built the terminal in the mid 1980s to accomodate a hub operation. They abandoned that strategy in 1995.

The Airport Authority says they do not see the leasing agreement as a problem.