Sneak peek at RDU's newly redesigned Terminal 1


The building was originally built in 1982 and was covered in blue siding. Now, there are vaulted ceilings, large windows, and art exhibits.

"We play an important role in economic development in the region and we understand more than just carriers and airlines, it's the experience that everyone has," said RDU spokesman Andrew Sawyer.

Once travelers land, RDU hopes its exit gives them a warm welcome.

The newly designed terminal boosts even a large TSA area with four lanes.

"Just make a bigger area for people to get their shoes back on and make a much more comfortable experience as people are traveling," said Sawyer.

In all, the terminal is 166,000 sq. ft. and will have nine gates. Southwest will run five on opening day. There are also six new restaurants, and five new shops.

"There's space for another carrier or two to come in the future," said Sawyer. "We want to make sure we have plenty of space for future growth."

RDU says it's always in talks for new and expanded services, and says this new terminal reflects and represents the triangle.

"We place high priority on the face that coming into Raleigh-Durham International Airport is most people's first impression of the region," said Sawyer. "Whether it's coming to visit family, or whether it's a corporation looking to relocate, or a company looking to expand business in this area, we want to give a great first impression and want to have people leave with a strong positive memory."

Last year, 1.2 million people flew in and out of Terminal 1. The newly designed Terminal 1 will be able to handle more than 3 million people a year.

If you want a closer look at things for yourself, RDU is holding an open house inside the new terminal on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Terminal 1 officially opens on Sunday, March 2.

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