Did you know the RDU airport has been in operation since 1929? The original building only lasted for ten years before the demand in this area required another facility. In 1939, plans were made to expand and relocate the airport to a central point between the two major municipalities. The facility we know and love opened its doors on May 1, 1943.
RDU Airport Facts
Many people fly in and out of this airport daily, but so much history and interesting facts are not common knowledge. Here are some things about the RDU airport you will appreciate.
1. It’s The Second Biggest Airport in the State
In the State of NC, the RDU airport is the second largest. The Charlotte/Douglas International Airport holds the top spot as the biggest. Here, there are over 400 flights that go out each day, and airlines travel to and from the 48 flight destinations. Six international cities are frequently traveled from this hub, and Delta Airlines is the company that handles all the international travel.
2. Vision 2040 is a Master Plan to Upgrade
The need for a bigger and better airport is increasing. The expansion was created to adapt and make alterations by the year 2040. One of the significant developments on the list is adding a 10,639 ft runway to the three existing ones. The new runway will be a massive 10,000 feet larger than the current ones, allowing larger aircraft to take off with ease.
3. Passenger Growth Is Increasing
In 2021 alone, the RDU airport saw more than 8.8 million passengers enter the gates. Consequently, before the Covid pandemic, the airport saw more than 14.1 million passengers daily.
It doesn’t sound that impressive considering Chicago’s O’Hare had 54 million passengers in the same year. However, the size makes a big difference in the equation. RDU has around 550,000 square feet, while the Chicago O’Hare International Airport is approximately 11.9 square miles. The increase in traffic and the desire for growth make expansion inevitable.
4. It’s a Main Cargo Hub
If you thought RDU was just for passengers, you would be mistaken. There are currently 136 tons of cargo each day that leaves this facility. Having shipping giants like UPS and Fed Ex within the airport helps to keep packages moving.
5. Most Passengers Go to Boston, San Diego, and Portland
The majority of passengers who fly to and from RDU come from three areas, Boston, San Diego, and Portland. Though many other locations are serviced, these cities rank the highest in transportation. Since this airport frequents these areas so much, finding a flight to these destinations is easier and less expensive.
6. The Observation Park is a Big Hit for Visitors
Some find going to The Observation Park is just as exciting as a fun center. It’s open each day from 9 am till dusk, allowing you to see the planes take off and land and hear the communications between the pilot towers. The place is so popular the airport has included a picnic facility and even a playground for the kids.
7. The Location is Ideally Located
Many passengers like to travel through this airport because of its fantastic location. The airport is situated 11 miles from Raleigh, 17 miles from Chapel Hill, and only 10 miles from the thoroughfare of Durham.
8. There are 17 Eateries Inside
Within the two terminals, you’ll find several eateries for your layovers. Most of the restaurants are in terminal two. Some well-known restaurants include Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Bruegger’s Bagels, Starbucks, 42nd St. Oyster Bar, and La Farm Bakery Café.
9. There’s Many Options for Parking and Transportation
Parking is one of the things in the works to be expanded, as the need for more space is inevitable. One of the significant issues that passengers face is finding parking and getting in and out safely. There are five parking lots to choose from but picking the best one closest to your terminal is advisable. There is a fee to park in these spots, and extended parking options are available.
However, most people find it easier to use the airport shuttle to and from the terminals. While shuttles run inside the airport, RDU Airport Shuttle provides pickup and drop-off service at your door. You’re already stressed enough trying to get packed through the airport, so it’s always better to let someone else handle the driving.
Making the Flight
There’s nothing better than traveling the friendly skies and going anywhere in the world you want. You’re lucky if you’re using the RDU airport for your journey. While it’s not one of the biggest in the country, it certainly is one of the better. There’s ample parking, numerous places to eat, and places to explore during your layovers.
The southern hospitality of this NC airport makes it memorable. When you’re in the area, using the RDU Airport Shuttle is the best option to ensure your trip is less stressful. You can book your shuttle service online for your convenience.