Local News

Parking at RDU? Save Yourself Time

Posted October 31, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Even if you've lived in the Triangle a short while, you learn quickly how difficult it is to park at RDU-International. Since seconds always count when you're trying to make a flight, WRAL decided to count how many seconds it can take to find a space.

You arrive at the terminal and drop off your luggage and loved ones for a 6:30 p.m. flight. Then the quest for a parking spot begins. The hourly lot, at $12 a day, isn't an option. And the only space you can find is at "Park and Ride" number three.

It's all the way back to Interstate-40. Time elapsed: 10 minutes.

Now you go get the shuttle, which luckily showed up right after we parked. But by the time you finally return to the terminal, a grand total of 20 minutes has passed.

The airport authority has a solution, a new, 2700 space, multi-tiered parking garage, with easy access to the airport's main terminal.

"We'll transport them into the terminal via a tunnel underneath the roadway system and then up into the terminal," explains Assistant Facilities Manager Dave Powell. "The atrium and the tunnel feature power walks and other features that make it a real quick trip into the terminal."

The Airport Authority has already set aside $35 million dollars for this project next to Terminal A. It should be completed in two years. But money for future additions to the garage will come from people who use its existing parking. In January, rates will go up by at least a third.

RDU Public Relations Manager Rick Martinez says the rates are going up a third because RDU airport parking rates are actually below the national average.

Here's a fast fact for everyone. Over the next few years, RDU will spend more money building parking spaces than on any other portion of its capital budget.

For example, the long distance but low cost "Park and Ride" three lot will nearly double in size within a year. That's not to say it will take longer to get to the terminals. The Airport Authority has ordered more shuttle buses for remote lots.