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Rufus

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Additional information: with AirTran moving to gate A24 and the ticketing desk adjacent to Southwest at the north end (the old end) of T1, the TSA checkpoint at the south end (near the former Delta gates) will close. I suspect it won't be long until the entire south end of T1, upstairs and downstairs, is blocked off so that renovation can commence unimpeded.

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  • 2 months later...

The Triangle has earned yet another distinction.  A worldwide study by airport researchers concluded that RDU is the most efficient mid-sized airport in the US!  

http://www.bizjourna...rchers-for.html

I agree. Being a frequent traveler and using that airport almost weekly, the new terminal is well designed to support efficient passenger movement from check in through security to the gates.

Edited by RALNATIVE
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  • 3 weeks later...

As part of T1 renovations, RDU is about to close the part of T1 built in 1981: gates A9-A19, the TSA checkpoint underneath those gates, the baggage claim areas, and the pedestrian tunnel from the parking deck. The Southwest/Airtran ticket counter, gates, baggage claim, and TSA checkpoint will remain open. http://www.rdu.com/Landing/RDUupdate/summer11/summer11.html

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  • 7 months later...
  • 1 month later...

RDU now has a flight to the Bahamas. The flight is by a carrier new to RDU, Bahama Air:

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/morning_call/2012/05/rdu-celebrates-flight-to-bahamas.html

RDU has also launched a new incentives policy that waives landing fees and funds marketing ($250,000 for domestic routes and $500,000 for international), to get airlines to add new routes. Specific flights RDU names are Seattle, LA, SFO, Paris and Frankfurt.

http://www.bizjourna...incentives.html

Edited by Gard
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If one believes the widespread speculation that USAirways will acquire the bankrupt American, the question is whether RDU can hold on to its London flight. In that scenario I expect immediate rationalization of the existing Charlotte-Gatwick flight and the RDU-Heathrow flight. Odds are that the sole survivor is Charlotte-Heathrow.

Has to be on the minds of RDU, the RTP-related group that incentivizes American, and local business leaders.

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RDU has also launched a new incentives policy that waives landing fees and funds marketing ($250,000 for domestic routes and $500,000 for international), to get airlines to add new routes. Specific flights RDU names are Seattle, LA, SFO, Paris and Frankfurt.

http://www.bizjourna...incentives.html

My prediction... SEA by Alaska or Southwest, LAX by Delta moved up to daily 737-700, SFO by United already announced, CDG by Delta, FRA by United. As for the LHR flight, it is going nowhere.. Even if US and AA merge, the flight will stay.. It's one of their more profitable ones...

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It's one of their more profitable ones...

Yeah, that's what everybody in the Triangle says -- or wants to believe. But unless I'm mistaken, there is no recent quote from any AA executive to that effect. I take that flight every month, and there are times when it's less than half full in economy. It's always full in business class, but the question is how many of those passengers are actually paying to sit there (versus burning miles for upgrades). Move that aircraft to CLT and it will run full every trip. We shall see.
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  • 1 year later...

Terminal 1 appears to be almost complete. While it looks better than before, it still seems to be a quite unattractive, unwelcoming building to be honest. With that said, it seems like Southwest could/should make RDU an important hub considering they got their own dedicated terminal.

 

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/02/05/3594627/raleigh-durham-international-airports.html

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Terminal 1 appears to be almost complete. While it looks better than before, it still seems to be a quite unattractive, unwelcoming building to be honest. With that said, it seems like Southwest could/should make RDU an important hub considering they got their own dedicated terminal.

 

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/02/05/3594627/raleigh-durham-international-airports.html

 

 

Wow, I didn't realize that was just for Southwest.  It also appears that they are demolishing a significant chunk of the old terminal on each side.  The one portion was only a little over 10 years old.  Good riddance though:

 

5rnMLCT.jpg

Edited by DPK
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It still looks pretty dismal compared to Terminal 2, even if it is better than it used to be.

 

Can't argue with free wifi though. Even Denver's palatial airport doesn't have that. I'm guessing that's partly to compete with Charlotte (which also has free wifi). And Char-grill. Vastly better than what's there currently.

Edited by Spatula
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I wouldn't call it dismal at all. Does it have SWEEPING REVOLUTIONARY LIFE CHANGING ARCHITECTURE like Terminal 2? No, but let's keep this in perspective. This is a low-cost airline terminal with just 9 gates. Let's face it: they were never going to do a $200 million teardown and rebuild. Southwest would not have liked the increased landing fees that would have resulted, and conceivably they could have cut back or even ended service (Perhaps moved to Greensboro?)

 

Given the limited budget, this is a great overhaul.

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What the N&O article calls the "south end" of Terminal 1 -- then called Terminal A -- was a desperate conversion of air cargo space from the 1980s into badly needed passenger gates. At that time there was a dispute between the RDU Airport Authority and American Airlines about use of excess gates in Terminal C. American wouldn't relinquish them, so erecting the south end of Terminal A was the only expedient solution. Because the south end was built on the cheap, there were no restrooms and almost no shops either. I think everyone will be happy to see the south end torn down. Eventually American and the RDU Airport Authority found a way forward, and the deal paved the way for what we now enjoy as Terminal 2.

 

The north end of Terminal 1 where Southwest operates today is a different matter. It includes the original 1955 building, although there have been so many renovations and expansions that it's hard to identify the 1955 footprint. The Airport Authority offices were moved out of that footprint to a new building years ago. 

 

I rarely fly Southwest so I doubt I'll attend the T1 open house next week. To some extent the Airport Authority did put "lipstick on a pig" by renovating T1 instead of tearing it down and starting over. But I believe the T1 project is all that RDU could afford to do. Nine gates will suffice for a while. 

 

As to Southwest doing a hub at RDU, I doubt it. They have two at Baltimore and Nashville; they don't need another. 

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You know, I'm looking at Terminal 1 and the fact that it has 9gates and I got thinking.. Why not do Gates A1-6 and gates B1-3.. That would make the whole Concourse naming feature make mice more since. Before, there was a Terminal A and C but no B which cause an explanation.. Now you have ACD but no B.. And if you do an A and a B, it shows there is room for growth on both ends..

Just a thought....

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There used to be a Terminal B:

 

In the beginning there was the 1955 terminal. In 1982, a second terminal opened -- the one whose renovation is nearly complete -- and it was named Terminal A. The 1955 terminal, which had been expanded somewhat by then, was renamed Terminal B. A few years later, Terminal C opened on the other side of the airport.

 

Time passed, and the 1955 terminal was renovated again. This time the renovation "was with extreme prejudice". Everything was connected behind security, and there was no reason to maintain a distinction between Terminal A and Terminal B. Therefore the Terminal B designation was dropped, and the whole thing (the 1955 "north end", the 1982 terminal, and later the "south end") was called Terminal A. That's how it stayed until the new Terminal 2 opened on the site of the former Terminal C, and at that time Terminal A was renamed Terminal 1. Got it?

 

As for how the gates within Terminal 1 will be numbered, I think the original plan was to have Concourse A and Concourse B. (That's why the concourses at Terminal 2 were named C and D.) Whether that's really going to happen, or whether all gates at Terminal 1 in one Concourse A, I don't know. You'll find out if you attend open house on Feb 15.

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  • 1 month later...

Thinking ahead to actual implementation one day...does RDU's terminal upgrades and replacements contemplate possible rail connections? Are there appropriate setbacks, right of ways and facility rough ins (tunnel punch outs, future escalator drops, etc.)? In any case...where would it go do ya'll think? Tunneling under the parking deck would be ideal but extra expensive. Runways must be dealt with etc etc...

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It won't be cheap to get a train to the airport.  Costs will also rise dramatically on how close they want to bring the train.  For one thing, in between the rental car facilities and main terminals there is a bridge for plane traffic only.  You'll absolutely need another tunnel under that as they won't allow for anything going over it.

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Seems like there's enough clean ROW to run trains right up between the parking deck and Terminal 1 with minimal disturbance to the infrastructure that's there. Of course a tunnel would have to be dug in the plane overpass. I actually think the bridges to cross I-40 and some other obstacles would be a bigger expense.

 

RDU will have an easier time of it, when the time comes, because it's going to be a short jog away from existing stops when the initial line gets built. Other airports like Denver's weren't so conveniently placed. Denver's airport won't even be connected until 2016.

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RDU's medium-range plan includes a CONRAC (CONsolidated Rent-A-Car facility) near the intersection of Pleasant Grove Church and Innovation. The long-range plan includes a people mover connecting the CONRAC to the terminals. The tentative plan for a transit connection would extend that people mover about 1.5 miles further west to the Triangle Metro Center rail station.

IMO the people mover is the correct approach for rail transit to the airport, but the currently proposed route to the CONRAC is very circuitous - it travels 3.5 miles to cover a straight line distance of less than 1.5 miles. To me it would make more sense to build it so that it heads due west out of the terminals rather than heading southwest then cutting back north. That presents the problem of going under the runways, but that can be handled by building it at the same time as the third runway: when the runway is built, put a tunnel underneath it from the start. Once the third runway is complete, you can temporarily close the current 5L/23R and dig a cut-and-cover tunnel underneath it.

In addition, the current plan shows it making a loop in the terminal area and having a station at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, which I feel is unnecessary. Instead, I would put a single station beneath the current hourly parking garage, which will probably need to be replaced eventually anyway (maybe including a hotel or something). Tunneling under the runways would cost money, for sure, but the reduction in length from 5.5 miles to 3.5 miles, plus removing the loop and the second station in the terminal area, might cut costs enough to make it worth the money.

The people mover station would be directly connected to Terminal 2 by an escalator descending from the baggage claim area. This would also provide a tunnel connecting Terminal 2 to the parking garages and on to Terminal 1, something which is currently lacking.

From Terminal 1, It would only be about 700 feet through a tunnel and the attractive, pleasant atrium at the center of the daily parking garage to this people mover station. When you consider the moving walkways, that's probably not more than a 2 minute walk. That is pretty much inconsequential, especially when you consider that Terminal 1 is small, so passengers only have a short walk between the entrance and the gates.

My RDU Master Plan!

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I wonder if the circuitous routing of the people-mover is motivated, in part, by RDU's desire to develop their property on the east side of Pleasant Grove Church Road (i.e., between the road and the lake). It wouldn't surprise me if the value proposition for that development includes an intermediate stop on the people mover. The former Thrifty site is a sweet parcel. 

 

As to the 3rd runway, has the RDUAA said anything definite about timeframes?  

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I wonder if the circuitous routing of the people-mover is motivated, in part, by RDU's desire to develop their property on the east side of Pleasant Grove Church Road (i.e., between the road and the lake). It wouldn't surprise me if the value proposition for that development includes an intermediate stop on the people mover. The former Thrifty site is a sweet parcel. 

 

As to the 3rd runway, has the RDUAA said anything definite about timeframes?

Nothing at all. The official word is "when traffic warrants it."

Browsing the airport authority's website, I found a very recent study by ULI that seems to recommend having the rent-a-car facilities consolidated inside the current daily garage, and a transit corridor folowing Airport Blvd. So I guess the overall message is that nothing is set in stone right now.

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