RDU Expansion/2040 Master Plan

I just want a place to talk about the 2040 master plan for RDU, something that has been in the back of my head. I realize that this isn’t dt Raleigh related but is important to our growth. I just checked google maps and saw there is not much space to expand beyond the current footprint. There is a sliver of taxiway between the main airport and the observation deck sector that could possibly become another international runway should we need it. The biplane runway currently sits in that position and the trees there are already cut down, so we can maximize the space there and include another runway for large capacity/international flights. We also have space to expand terminal 1 so the flights can come out of both 1 and 2. This is far far in the future but I just feel we need a place to discuss. Thoughts?


That area you mentioned to the east of the current taxiway and runway is being totally redeveloped. I drive right by there everyday on the way to work to avoid 540. I thought it was for the 25 private jet hangers, but a quick google search shows that is proposed farther north (near intersection of International Drive and Cemetery Rd). So I am not sure what the current construction is for.

I also read somewhere that RDU is trying to buy the land to the north of Lumley Road to expand the new runway (being built west of the existing runway). Seems like the trucking company doesn’t want to sell and RDU is pushing for eminent domain for the runway expansion. The existing runway will become a taxiway, and Terminal 2 will be expanded out onto the current tarmac. (basically, everything will be shifted to the west and expanded).

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Weren’t they going to add around 23 gates to terminal 2? I watched the promo video a while ago but can’t remember the details

not really downtown? :confused:

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That is farther down the pipeline. Gotta move infrastructure west to make room to expand the terminal.

Working on building a longer run way close to current west side one. Can build it close to current one because current runway will be converted to taxiway. Buying land to for new runway now and working on financing.

Seems there were plans, way back, to build two runways on west side but the second one seems to have been dropped in favor of making the east side runway a lot longer. Guess main thing is land for second west side runway got developed way before they expected and is now to expensive to buy.

I’m having an internal struggle on keeping this thread. Let’ keep it focused on the airport itself, maybe compare it to others. Please, no quarry discussion. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Just wanted a place to talk about this as it is a big piece to our growth in the future

Wasn’t planning on it :shushing_face:

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Agree no quarry or other such side issues, just about airport. RDU is a VERY important part of the whole Raleigh Story.


What’s the deal with Terminal 1? Still only Southwest, and seems like they’ve been renovating it for a decade at this point. Seems like huge wasted space that a few other airlines could utilize. I will also say, after having been through a few other airports this year alone, and just landing back at RDU this past Saturday- Terminal 2 really is pretty nice and inviting with its tall, sloped, warehouse-like ceilings. I had 2 layovers in Salt Lake City and their airport is so old and stale, with low ceilings that make for a claustrophobic feeling. Our Terminal 2 is much nicer and more modern, and I hope that Terminal 1 eventually has the same feeling (I haven’t flown Southwest in years, so I haven’t been in there in a long time).


Never used terminal 1 but i feel terminal 2 is very clean and airy and has a modern feel. Flew through Charlotte to get to Rome, the airport in Charlotte is old and is in need of renovations, which are luckily happening.

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The 2040 plan was drafted before the last growth acceleration in the last 2-3 years. So the implementation of some of the items we will (should!) see accelerated

For example both Frontier and Delta (mini hub) are ramping up service aggressively beyond the organic growth that was the base for the 2040 planning

If you want to experience this first hand go queue for an early workday departure :slight_smile:


I’ve heard stories of security lines being like 1 or 2 hours at 6:30 am. Ridiculous

A few weeks ago, I flew Frontier from Vegas back to Raleigh and it was an 11:30 red eye flight and the wait was over an hour long just to check in there also. That might just be a Frontier thing…

I will have that pleasure this weekend as flying out of RDU to Europe. Nice thing about all the different airlines at RDU is ticket prices are a lot lower than other NC airports. Not like the one (the one who’s name will not be spoken) that has 90% of flights controlled by just one airline. Interesting tib-bit if removed the people just changing planes there, the RDU origin and termination passenger count is very close to that other big airport.


This airport u are talking about wouldn’t be how it is if not for American. Didn’t rdu have a us airlines hub awhile ago before it turned into American?

Master plan has building expansions on Terminal 2 in 6 locations (two perpendicular nubs in the middle, two 45 deg wings on the end, and additions on either side of the center entry building. Terminal 1 just has the expansion on the south end.

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Ok good to know that’ll make terminal 2 feel and look a lot bigger so that’s good :+1:

I think it was American before being taking over by US Air. Was the reason the old
terminal “C” was built.

EDIT - found this – American Airlines opens its north-south hub operation at RDU in the new Terminal C in June 1987, greatly increasing the size of RDU’s operations with a new terminal including a new apron and runway. American brought RDU its first international flights to Bermuda, Cancun and Paris-Orly.

Terminal A was original (now gone) terminal, B is now 1 after remodel, and 2 is on footprint of where “C” was located.