Thursday, September 09, 2004

Airport Use is Down by 22% since 2000

Even an expansion of Terminal C (as opposed to complete do-over) is clearly not urgent.

In 2003, RDU as a whole served 24% fewer passengers than 2000:
http://www.researchtriangle.org/data/airport.html

The two months of 2004 represented only about a 1.5% increase over Jan-Feb of 2003.


15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff

Looking at 2000-2003 statistics alone is deceptive. Remember 9-11? Traffic was soaring before then, and is starting to come back.

ToddtheBlog

September 10, 2004 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

These stats go through Feb. 2004, = 2.5 years past 9-11, where they remain far beneath peak usage. If and when expansion is needed, it can be just that, expansion, without complete demolition.

September 10, 2004 at 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea that you say Terminal C is underused. Yes, but Terminal C was the old hub building and RDU is no longer a hub since AA left and Midway went out of business. Plus, you do not mention that Terminal A is running at full capacity and I believe all of Terminal A will move to the new Terminal you are fighting, which I believe will be call Terminal 1. I do not see that in any of your writings. So, at least be honest and get it right. I fly all over the world and the airport is the first impression someone gets when coming to do business The nicest thing about the RDU airport is the parking lot which is a shame. Terminal C still has faded posters from the AA hub days. Terminal A is so tired, it is almost shameful, especially at the Baggage claim for SW and US AIR customers. I stood there one night and it reminded me a small Midwest airport that only fly’s commuter jets. I agree with the other comments on how you can not judge air traffic after 9/11, especially when the largest provider (Midway) is no longer in business. Not sure if RDU will ever be a hub again, but my guess is the airline industry will start to do more mini-hubs, (The SW model) and RDU is prime. If you continue on this rampage, at least get the facts straight since your story has too many holes.

September 15, 2004 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

Anon., You make arguments for expanding Terminal C that the Airport Authority itself has not made (replacing Terminal A, etc.) The Airport Authority is aware of me and this website, and officials there are welcome to weigh in here.

It does not cost $350 million to replace fading posters. Nor to replace the carpet and spruce up interior design. I'll guess the Authority members do not run their individual businesses with such extravagence.

I will soon do a posting on Regional Branding and Airport Aesthetics, since these seem to be concerns for some.

September 15, 2004 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

Anon., One more response: My data on decreased airport usage are for the airport as a whole, not just Terminal C.

September 15, 2004 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: The guy who wants a new terminal. I have a question for you. How much buisness travel do you do each year? Are you in a business or work with a business in the Triangle that has clients or even better, potential clients that fly in? The airport makes a world of difference. It goes far deeper than just looks, it is about functionality, ease, perception, regionalism, etc.

September 15, 2004 at 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there are some facts that need to be corrected. RDU stats through 2001 represent the Midway hub. This caused an exponential growth at RDU representing connecting traffic. RDU, currently, is a mainly Originating & Destination market. Meaning that most people who fly in and out of RDU use the baggage area. And the figures are growing each year. Within the next 5 years, the numbers could reach back to the Midway-hub days. That's 10 Million people.

Also take into account that there are several airlines that have a strong interest in making stations at RDU... Frontier, JetBlue... And RDUAA is working on International carriers too. I don't think ANYBODY would want international travelers to walk into Terminal C and see the deterioration that is taking place. Can these deteriorations be taken care of asthetically? Probably, but not the security problems. Not the lack of gate problems.. and not the horror that is getting around the Terminal. Terminal C is like walking through a haunted castle. It's decrepid, it's dishoveled, and it's disguisting.

I believe that with a new terminal, a new image of RTP, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, and RDU will emerge.

As far a Terminal A goes, it is overpacked, too cramped, and like a monster that was stitched together. When the new Terminal 2 opens with 40 gates, it will help relieve the congestion that is Terminal A (1). And I have heard several hundred people complain about the crampness and unsightlyness that are Terminals A and C. Also, from what I understand but don't quote me on this, Terminal A is to be replaced upon completion of Terminal C with 40+ gates and 4 levels.

As far as the parking rates go, first RDU has extremely CHEAP parking compared to other airports. Try parking at TF Green in Providence, Logan in Boston, or Hartsfield in ATL and see what they say when you try to pay $6/day. Second, the parking rates and passenger fees has already been increased for the terminal projects and you never even noticed. Third, the new Terminals will help pay for themselves by adding new carriers, new destinations, new business opportunites, and a better image.

And that's all I have to say.

September 15, 2004 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terminal C is barely 20 years old. I'm wondering if it has even been paid for the first time, as it was built primarily for use by American Airlines during their mega hub days and was then abandoned as that business model proved untenable.
What a waste it would be to demolish a seemingly usable, although possibly somewhat cosmetically tired building for no apparently good reason.

Unfortunately this seems to be part of a larger trend in the process of improving the airport's facilities. The tunnel under the new parking garage is another example of places the authority would seem to have spent more money than necessary to accomplish the needed end goal.

September 15, 2004 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

Some of these anonymous comments are using terms and arguments like "regionalism" that echo themes in RDU's own press releases. Hmmm. Critics who fail to identify themselves in a traceable way lack credibility.

September 15, 2004 at 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll admit, I have mixed feelings on the issue.
As a frequent business traveler who flies mostly out of Terminal A but who has flown his fair share out of C, I must say, terminal C is actually much more easy to get in and out of already. I realize it was built as a hub and needs additional ticketing and baggage claim areas in order to accomodate more airlines but can't that be added or expanded? Honestly, Terminal A is the eye sore, inside and out. Terminal A's layout is the worst of any mid major city's airport I have seen in the world.
The security lines/layout is the worst I've seen...and let's not forget the south extension of Terminal A which is home to Northwest (my predominantly flown airline) and Continental....making that looooong walk down a narrow hallway to those gates every other week without the help of a moving walkway gets old, fast...not to mention the long, long waits at baggage claim (I never wait that long in terminal C).
Everything is Terminal A is narrow and cramped and slow and old. Terminal C's concourses are much larger, wider, easier to find your way around, better layout, etc. already. Does it need work, yes, but Terminal A is in far worse shape in my opinion. I don't see why renovation at Terminal C would not work. Followed by major over-haul of Terminal A, which is in fact badly needed. Just my two cents worth. NWA Platinum Frequent Flyer, L Howell, Rocky Mount, NC.

September 16, 2004 at 1:30 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

Thank you, L Howell. I'm going to post some positive recommendations about dealing with Terminal A. Part of the problem there is that the Airport Authority is packing it in order to demolish part of Terminal C a few months from now.

September 16, 2004 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Eric J. Horton said...

How exactly do you figure the RDUAA is "packing it" at Terminal A? They have not moved a single operator from terminal C for construction purposes. In fact, there has been a recent move by Air Canada "Jazz" and I believe Air Wisconsin from Terminal A to Terminal C. Eric

September 16, 2004 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

If the northern concourse of Terminal C is planned for demolition in the near future, then operators must have been steered or steering away from there for months or longer, right? That's how I figure the planned demolition has already packed Terminal A.

If I made such decisions for my airline, I would not set up shop in Terminal C, when I knew I'd have to move to Terminal A in the near future.

September 17, 2004 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Eric J. Horton said...

Nobody would have to, or can move to Terminal A. It is full. You are SPECULATING on the idea of airlines not going to Terminal C. Show me some CREDIBLE evidence that any airline has turned down going to Terminal C due to construction.

September 17, 2004 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

EH, I am not privy to those decisions. My point is that if Terminal C's northern concourse were going to remain in existence and open indefinitely, Terminal A would not have to be so crowded right now.

September 17, 2004 at 11:43 AM  

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