Raleigh–Durham International Airport is a public international airport 4.5 miles (7 km) northeast of the town of Morrisville in Wake County, North Carolina. The airport covers 4,929 acres (1,995 ha) and has three runways and direct flights to 38 domestic and international cities on 352 daily flights. In 2011 more than 9 million passengers traveled through the airport. The RDU Airport Authority is in charge of the airport facilities and its operations. The Airport Authority is controlled by a board of representatives from the counties of Wake and Durham, and the cities of Raleigh and Durham.
RALEIGH DURHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HISTORY
The region’s first airport opened in 1929 as Raleigh’s Municipal Airport, just south of what is now downtown. It was quickly outgrown, and in 1939 the North Carolina General Assembly chartered the Raleigh–Durham Aeronautical Authority to build and operate a replacement airport convenient to both Raleigh and Durham. This was also promoted by Eastern Air Lines, led by then chairman Eddie Rickenbacker who sought to make Raleigh–Durham a stop on the airline’s New York-Miami route.
The new Raleigh–Durham Airport opened on May 1, 1943 with flights by Eastern Airlines. The passenger terminal was built from materials remaining after the construction of four barracks for the Army Air Forces Air Technical Service Command airfield. The three runways the airport had in 1951 are still visible on the southeast side of the airport: 4500-ft runway 5, 4500-ft runway 18 and 4490-ft runway 14.
RALEIGH DURHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LOCATION
RALEIGH DURHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FACTS