RTA’s top priority is… still RDU funding

RTA members and partners,

After construction of Southern Wake 540 commenced in fall 2019, the regional business community announced that RTA’s top organizational priority would be the advancement of sustainable funding for RDU Airport.

RTA initiated a task force that focused on airport infrastructure development that fall, and the RTA RDU AID task force released its initial recommendations at our RTA 20th Annual Meeting in January 2020.

Naturally, the pandemic impacted everything about aviation last year, so we paused much of our work until early 2021.

The RTA RDU AID task force restarted its efforts this past winter, culminating with the release of updated task force recommendations in July 2021 at our annual RTA Transportation Breakfast event.

Our RTA Regional Leadership Team endorsed several of those recommendations — including a focus on maximizing federal support to replace and relocate primary runway 5L-23R, as well as additional funding from both airport-controlled and local sources — at our annual retreat in August. We incorporate each of these recommendations into our 2021-22 RTA Action Plan.

Earlier this month, the RTA RDU AID task force spoke to the RDU Airport Authority strategic planning committee of the whole, providing an update on the work of the task force and RTA’s funding recommendations.

We will continue to partner with RDU leadership in the coming months as the the Authority board and staff carefully considers these and other revenue options.

Of course, RTA will certainly focus on other vital items for our region, including accelerating a metropolitan rapid transit system that includes a commuter rail spine, a bus rapid transit network, and a host of complementary elements.

We will speak to the importance of these and other priorities at our 20th annual meeting next week.

RTA looks forward to successful progress on the issue of funding for RDU as the year continues and into 2022, in concert with RDU Airport and our other local, regional, state, and federal partners.

Advancing sustainable funding for RDU Airport is our highest organizational priority, and it will remain so until we get significant movement or resolution at the local, airport, or federal level, or a combination. 

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA executive director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina.

RTA represents more than 100 leading businesses and 25 member chambers of commerce in central and eastern North Carolina. RTA is a regional program of the Raleigh Chamber.


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