RDU expands despite declines
RALEIGH This fall, travelers can expect a nearly 13 percent reduction in the number of seats available on domestic flights. You can blame it on record fuel prices --the irony of it all at RDU, is that while airlines are cutting back the airport is still expanding. As fuel prices soar, air travel plummets; which is why some of the country's busiest airports will lose at least 10 percent of their domestic air service compared to a year ago. "While the number of seats may be cut, demand is still there," RDU Spokesperson Mindy Hamlin said. And that's why Hamlin says the airport's new $ 570 million terminal is needed. "When we were planning term two, we recognized based on experience that that aviation industry is very dynamic," Hamlin said. Currently, those dynamics include major cuts. Whether the airline industry continues to encounter turbulence, the new terminal is taking off regardless. "There's a little business here in Raleigh, so I guess it's maybe not so bad as it is in other locations," Anna Pittman, flying from London said. The expansion is being paid for with airport revenue from parking, airlines and passengers.
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