Raleigh-Durham International Airport will undergo a $2.7bn capital programme to meet aviation needs. Credit: RDUAA.
Runway 5L-23R will be extended to 11,500ft. Credit: RDUAA.
The capital programme will also include aviation parkway intersection improvements. Credit: RDUAA.

The Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in North Carolina, US, has planned a capital improvement programme to meet the region’s increasing aviation needs.

Named Vision 2040, the airport’s capital programme will focus on four main areas, including airfield, terminals, ground transportation and general aviation.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority’s 2040 master plan in December 2017. The plan was concluded after two years of study and community engagement.

RDU, a primary air travel gateway to central North Carolina, witnessed approximately 12.8 million passenger movements and handled more than 100,000t of cargo in 2018. It serves 11 major airlines and offers services to more than 69 destinations.

Raleigh-Durham airport capital programme details

A $500m new consolidated rental car facility (CONRAC) and ground transportation centre will be built to offer more convenient airport experience to the passengers. It will be centrally located between terminals one and two.

The six-storey garage will provide additional parking spaces. The rental car facility will feature rental car companies, providing access to taxis, limos, rideshares, and hotel shuttles in the new ground transportation centre. It will reduce congestion on the curb for pick-up and drop-off.

Up to 23 new terminal gates will be added by 2040. Through westward concourse extensions, 19 gates will be added at terminal two and four gates will be at terminal one.

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority’s 2040 master plan in December 2017.”

The ticketing, baggage claim, security checkpoint and federal inspection facilities will also be expanded.

A new corporate aviation campus will be built near Lumley Road towards the airport’s north end, which will be spread over 48 acres. A smaller general aviation aircraft campus will be constructed next to runway 14-32.

The programme will also include the rehabilitation of taxiway Alpha and Foxtrot. ParkRDU Economy 3 will be expanded. The intersection of Aviation Parkway and National Guard Road at the Sheetz location will be improved to reduce congestion.

Runway replacement at Raleigh-Durham

The replacement of the main runway 5L-23R will cost approximately $350m and is expected to be opened by 2025. The runway will extend to 11,500ft in order to accommodate large aircraft.

It will be located 500ft west from its current location and will also have the option for extension in the future to accommodate more international air services. The replacement is planned as the existing runway reached the end of its operational life.

Funding for the Raleigh-Durham capital improvement programme

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) have provided funding for the master plan study.

Other developments at the airport

The airport’s parking garage will undergo various enhancements, including the addition of elevators, escalators and passenger walkways, which are expected to be completed in 2021.

Roadways around the airport will also be improved and new parking options will be provided along National Guard Drive.

The checkpoint at terminal two will be expanded and additional milling and repaving work will be performed on runway 14-32.

Asphalt pavement improvements will be carried out on International Drive and Executive Drive. Selected parking lots and driveways on International Drive will be redeveloped.

Works under the RDU Refresh project include gate-area carpet replacement, roadway signage replacement and John Brantley Boulevard repaving.

Contractors involved in the Raleigh-Durham capital improvement programme

In March 2019, Western and RDU entered an agreement to build the new corporate aviation campus.

Ricondo & Associates is responsible for developing the Vision 2040 master plan. Balfour Beatty was awarded the contract for the $2.57m terminal two checkpoint expansion and the runway 14-32 repaving.