RDU ends 2022 with 35% more travelers than 2021 & begins expansions

Rescue efforts are underway after a small plane vanished from radar tracking at the...
Rescue efforts are underway after a small plane vanished from radar tracking at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.(Courtesy of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority.)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 3:00 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - The Raleigh-Durham Airport experienced great success in 2022 and it is expanding this year

RDU served a total of 11.8 million passengers in 2022, an increase of 35% over the previous year and a sign that traffic is rapidly approaching pre-pandemic levels. Passenger traffic in 2022 was 17% below the record high of 14.2 million travelers who flew through RDU in 2019.

“RDU is moving beyond the recovery and toward sustained and reliable growth,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “Increasing passenger traffic, more airlines and new routes make it even more critical for the airport to pursue the Vision 2040 projects that will help us meet future demand.”

Their success is leading to the following expansions and goals for 2023:

Avelo Move: Avelo Airlines will be moving from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 on February 16. Avelo will have direct flights to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Tampa after the transition. An airline base with at least 50 employees will begin as well.

Breeze Launch: Breeze airlines will debut in February. Breeze will have direct flights to Hartfort, New Orleans and Providence. Flights directly to Columbus and Jacksonville will be added in May.

Community Project Funding: RDU will receive two Community Project Funding grants this year thanks to former Rep. David Price and Rep. Deborah Ross. Price, who has retired, funded $6 million for Runway 5L-23R to be repaved and Ross funded $5 million for North Cargo Arpong Taxline reconstruction.

La Farm Expansion: La Farm Bakery will be expanding in Terminal 2 to offer “grab and go” coffee kiosks and additional seating areas. They will begin to serve breads, pastries, sandwiches, and café dishes.

A new report found RDU contributes more than $17 billion to central and eastern North Carolina’s economy and supports more than 85,000 local and regional jobs. The report was produced by the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation. It also found RDU generates more than $887 million in state and local taxes and $5.4 billion in personal income.