At our most recent RTA Leadership Team meeting, we had a great conversation with Kristie VanAuken, RDU Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs. This week’s briefing covers several upcoming improvements and areas of focus at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

RDU parking
While transit service to the Airport has improved nicely – including the GoTriangle Route 100 bus – excellent 30-minute service between the regional transit center and downtown Raleigh – parking will remain the primary means of accessing RDU for most travelers. RDU has an ongoing parking preservation program to keep the decks maintained, and is actively upgrading the entry, exit, and pay-on-foot machines to a new parking experience. In addition, planning for a new, convenient rental car facility is underway. Visit for more info and updates.

RDU improvements – Renew RDU
We have spoken of and applauded the North Carolina legislature’s investment in RDU this year, with more than $30 million in recurring funding to help accelerate needed airfield¬† improvements identified in the RDU master plan. One example is Runway 5L-23R, which we have sometimes referred to as the most important 2 miles of pavement in the Triangle. In the near future, it will become the most important 2.2 miles of pavement, when RDU rebuilds and extends the primary runway from 10,000 to 11,500 feet. This will provide increased safety and operational flexibility for RDU and make us even more attractive for international destinations.

RDU destinations
Speaking of destinations, the most-connected mid-sized airport in America continues to add new nonstop locations for the Triangle market from a variety of air carriers.¬†Domestically, San Diego is probably the most needed and promising destination, with well more than 100 passengers traveling each day – each way – between our market and San Diego. Internationally, China remains on RDU’s radar and that of the business community, and we believe landing China is doable in the near-to-medium future with the support of the regional business community.

Thank you for being a part of the voice of the regional business community on transportation!

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director