MORRISVILLE — With a 6.2 percent increase in traffic for April 2019, reaching a record-high 150,000 travelers over Mother’s Day and college graduation weekend, the Raleigh-Durham International Airport Authority announced May 20 the opening of two new security lanes at Terminal 2, bringing the total to 12.
“We’re trying to accommodate the significant growth we’ve had,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, to North State Journal at the airport’s press conference in front of the checkpoints. “Since 2013, we’ve seen a 42 increase in overall customers, and about 39% of that 42% growth is coming right through this checkpoint [Terminal 2].”
To man these two new checkpoints at the terminal, the TSA is hiring 31 new agents. RDU will hire up to two more staff to help guide travelers to the right location and to answer any questions.
“TSA is proud to partner with Raleigh-Durham International Airport to ensure the traveling public is safe and support the two additional security screening lanes at the Terminal 2 Checkpoint,” Beth G. Walker, TSA federal security director, said in a statement. “Terminal 2 Checkpoint will now have a total of 12 lanes to better accommodate travelers as passenger volumes continue to rise at RDU.”
RDU announced May 3 that there would be 16 additional flights from the airport in time for the summer peak travel season. This came as the result of expansions from American Airlines and Frontier Airlines, as well as the addition of a new carrier, Spirit Airlines, the airport’s 11th.
Among the 16 new flights are nonstop offerings to Phoenix, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Albany, Columbus, Jacksonville, Philadelphia and Tampa.
“We are very excited about all the growth we’ve seen,” Landguth said. “I think we’re a barometer of what it looks like all across this region. This region is exploding with growth, and as a result, we’re growing as well. I think the local economy is so hot right now, we’re trying to build the capacity, whether it’s airfield capacity, terminal capacity, checkpoint capacity, as fast as we can to accommodate that so we don’t have long wait times for our customers and their entire journey is as seamless as possible.”
The Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is also experiencing rapid growth, with a record in 2018 of 46.4 million passengers in 2018 — a 34% increase from 2008 totals.
In the Airports Council International 2018 preliminary rankings, CLT was listed as the “sixth–busiest airport” in the nation. The airport was also listed as the seventh overall globally in aircraft movements. The increased traffic led to the recent addition of five new lanes on the “Elevated Roadway and Terminal Curb Front.”
“The opening of five lanes on the upper roadway will have an immediate impact. Traffic flow will improve, creating a smoother drive for picking up and dropping off passengers,” Brent Cagle, CEO of Charlotte Douglas, said in a statement. “Expansion of the hub, Charlotte region and the airport’s strong customer demand have placed us on a path of continued growth for the foreseeable future that we welcome.”