Raleigh-Durham International Airport
(IATA: RDU, ICAO: KRDU, FAA LID: RDU)
Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the region’s primary airport and the second-largest in North Carolina, located northwest of downtown Raleigh via Interstate-40 between Raleigh and Durham, serves the city and greater Research Triangle metropolitan region, as well as much of eastern North Carolina. The airport offers service to more than 35 domestic and international destinations and serves approximately 10 million passengers a year. The airport also offers facilities for cargo and general aviation. The airport authority tripled the size of its Terminal 2 (formerly Terminal C) in January 2011.
Raleigh–Durham International Airport is the main airport serving Raleigh, Durham, and the surrounding Research Triangle region of North Carolina. It is located 4 1⁄2 miles (7.2 km) northeast of the town of Morrisville in Wake County. The airport covers 5,000 acres (2,023 ha) and has three runways. The airport has passenger service to 62 destinations with 450 average daily departures, including nonstop transatlantic service to London and Paris.
In 2017, RDU beat its all-time record set in 2016, with 11.6 million passengers traveling through the airport. The RDU Airport Authority is in charge of the airport facilities and its operations and is controlled by a board of representatives from the counties of Wake and Durham and the cities of Raleigh and Durham.
The airport is a focus city for Delta and Frontier. It is also a crew base for Delta, American for its London flight and for regional carriers Trans States Airlines and GoJet Airlines. According to the most recent rankings, RDU is the 39th busiest airport in the United States by total passenger boardings.
RDU’s post-hub years have brought the addition of new carriers and destinations; notably discount carriers such as Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air. Because of the economic downturn and high fuel prices in 2008, American ended most point to point flights it operated out of the airport. Several mainline flights were also dropped and service to other cities was reduced or downgraded. Other airlines also cut flights and destinations, including United Airlines and US Airways.
By 2010, RDU’s traffic began to recover. In the first few months of the year passenger numbers stabilized at RDU, ending the decrease the airport experienced in 2008 and 2009. In the first four months of 2010, 2.7 million passengers traveled through RDU. Growth was flat, compared to the same period a year before, but these signs were positive, indicating that the decline was over. Airlines at RDU began to add new service to the schedule, with both legacy and low-cost carriers significantly increasing service at RDU since the early 2010’s.
Recently, Delta Air Lines has been steadily building up operations and has declared RDU to be a focus city. Delta is now the largest carrier at RDU and operates 80 flights, including a transatlantic flight to Paris, which began in May 2016.
Public General-Aviation Airports
In addition to RDU, several smaller publicly owned general-aviation airports also operate in the metropolitan region:
- Triangle North Executive Airport (IATA: LFN, ICAO: KLHZ, FAA LID: LHZ), Louisburg
- Raleigh Exec (ICAO: KTTA, FAA LID: TTA), Sanford
- Johnston County Airport (IATA: JNX, ICAO: KJNX, FAA LID: JNX), Smithfield
- Horace Williams Airport (IATA: IGX, ICAO: KIGX, FAA LID: IGX), Chapel Hill
- Harnett Regional Jetport (IATA: HRJ, ICAO: KHRJ, FAA LID: HRJ), Erwin
- Person County Airport (ICAO: KTDF, FAA LID: TDF), Roxboro
- Siler City Municipal Airport (ICAO: K5W8, FAA LID: 5W8), Siler City
Several licensed private general-aviation airports operate in Raleigh’s immediate suburban areas:
- Bagwell Airport (FAA LID: NC99), Garner
- Ball Airport (FAA LID: 79NC), Louisburg
- Cox Airport (FAA LID: NC81), Apex
- Deck Airpark Airport (FAA LID: NC11), Apex
- Field of Dreams Airport (FAA LID: 51NC), Zebulon
- Fuquay/Angier Field Airport (FAA LID: 78NC), Fuquay-Varina
- North Raleigh Airport (FAA LID: 00NC), Louisburg
- Peacock Stolport Airport (FAA LID: 4NC7), Garner
- Raleigh East Airport (FAA LID: 9NC0), Knightdale
- Triple W Airport (ICAO: K5W5, FAA LID: 5W5), Raleigh