We already know that, as we move into COVID-19 tourism recovery countywide, it will be a while before we will have visitors arriving in large numbers by plane. However, leadership at RDU International Airport has taken steps to ensure the safety of all air travelers and announced guidelines already in place.

“The health and safety of everyone at the airport is RDU’s top priority,” said Michael Landguth, AAE, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “As we head into the traditionally busy summer travel season, we are taking every precaution to allow passengers to fly with confidence. In addition to signage and public announcements already in place, guests will begin to see changes in how the airport operates to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Airport leadership has already enhanced cleaning practices and installed signage to promote adherence to public health guidance. Changes passengers will notice in the terminals include:

  • more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of ParkRDU shuttle buses and common areas, including bathrooms and high-touch surfaces such as ticket counters and kiosks;
  • more detailed cleaning and disinfecting using EPA-approved products for surfaces such as handrails and underneath seats;
  • hand-sanitizing stations throughout the terminals with more on the way;
  • digital signage and intercom announcements promoting adherence to public health best practices to help prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19;
  • new physical and digital signage to remind passengers to maintain six feet of distance, wear a face covering and practice good hygiene;
  • new stanchion signage in the ticket lobby, boarding queues and on the concourse to encourage physical distancing and one-way directional flow;
  • sneeze-guards in common areas including ticket counters, information desks, gate counters and baggage service offices;
  • seat covers in gate waiting areas and floor decals in baggage claim that show appropriate physical distancing.

RDU is also conducting a capacity analysis in the terminals to determine what space constraints may result from physical distancing in areas like security checkpoints. Many of the new measures are visible now, with the rest expected to be in place by the end of June.

Airline Requirements: Many of RDU’s airline partners now require passengers to wear face coverings during their flights. Masks are available for sale in post-security stores in Terminal 2.

Also Frontier Airlines has implemented temperature screenings for all passengers and airline employees prior to boarding flights. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will be denied boarding.

Passenger Traffic Down 96%: Passenger volume at RDU settled in April around 96% below the same time period last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just 40,000 passengers flew through the airport during the month of April, a 96.5% decrease over April 2019. The decline in demand for air travel at RDU is consistent with what other commercial airports across the country are experiencing.

RDU’s airline partners continue to make week-to-week adjustments to their near-term schedules, with May capacity down 83% and June capacity down 78%. The airlines are expected to continue making reductions from their year-prior capacities in the months ahead.

For more information, go to https://www.rdu.com/fly-confident-fly-rdu/.