RALEIGH — Raleigh-Durham International Airport has began another big project to enhance its image.
Thursday, the airport held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off reconstruction to a portion of Terminal 1. Travelers say the modern touches are way overdue. The building kindly referred to as the “blue box” is about to undergo a major facelift.
“This one? This looks like a mess,” said Diane Nichols.
It is a mess that will soon have a cleaner presence. After a 30-year run, a portion of the terminal will be revamped.
“It is kind of out dated so it'll be nice to have a new one,” said Louise Schneberger.
For travelers such as Janet Gatzmer, she has been flying in and out of RDU for twenty years.
“It used to be a small one terminal airport, luggage carriers were free, you'd park out there with no problem,” said Gatzmer.
As a landmark of the Triangle, Janet has seen a variety of expansions first-hand.
“No traffic, no problem, it was just a small town airport,” said Gatzmer.
Those small town days are now a thing of the past. Presently stands a major international airport with flights that circulates around the globe. About a year and a half ago RDU unveiled a completely new structure with a modern day edge.
They are similar changes that will be seen at Terminal 1.
“That one's beautiful. That one's lovely,” said Nichols.
Once the finishing touches are made, the building will feature more natural lighting, a larger ticketing area, baggage claims, and several restaurants and shops. It's just another enhancement the reflects the growth of the region.
The project will cost about $68 million and will take a year and a half to complete. Air Tran and Southwest Airlines will continue to operate from the building's north end.