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Airport Authority May Renovate Terminal C

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RDU INTERNATIONAL — Growth at Raleigh Durham International Airport is inevitable. The onlyquestion now is how much growth -- and how fast.

Terminal A will eventually be replaced at a cost of $1,000,000,000. ButWednesday, the Airport Authority also tossed out the idea of expandingTerminal 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 dosomething about Terminal C. It needs some work and it needs to beincorporated into the overall plan [for the airport]," says AirportAuthority board member Bob Winston.

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

The potential benefit for travelers is better service and possibly lowerfares.

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

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

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

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

One potential complication is that American Airlines controls the leasingagreement on Terminal C until 2027. American built the terminal in themid 1980s to accomodate a hub operation. They abandoned that strategy in1995.

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


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