RDU raises parking rates just ahead of holiday travel rush

Wake County News

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – If you’re planning on traveling by air this upcoming holiday, plan on paying more for some parking at RDU International Airport.

On Friday, rates in the airport’s central parking garage will increase to $15 a day unless you booked it in advance.

The airport’s CEO said the money will be used to help fund capital improvements.

The airport authority also doesn’t anticipate opening two closed satellite lots saying it believes it will have enough capacity this holiday travel season.

On any given day, trying to find parking in the airport’s central garage can be a driving frustration as you look for a space to open.

“We were an hour and a half early and we spent 30 to 45 minutes waiting for someone to come out,” said frustrated traveler Cecil Thorpe.

RDU offers an online assessment of parking availability.

When CBS 17 checked it about mid-morning on Wednesday, it found:

  • Premier parking was 82 percent full
  • Central was at 72 percent capacity
  • The Economy 3 satellite lot was almost 40 percent full

The Business Express lot was closed. Also shut down was the Economy 4 satellite lot.

Frustrated airport parker Barbara Modlin believes some of those empty parking areas need to be reactivated.

“I think they should open them up,” she said.

Currently, RDU has over 1,000 employees parking in the economy 3 lot. They will be moved elsewhere to make room for the anticipated holiday crush.

“We believe we have enough capacity but we have a contingency in place,” said RDU Authority CEO Mike Landguth. “If we feel like we’re going to overflow we have the business lot and economy 4 if we need to.”

He believes the airport can react in a timely fashion to an overflow of cars during the upcoming peak travel period.

“We can react very quickly,” he said.

Landguth said the airport will have additional shuttle bus drivers on standby should they need to open additional lots, but he believes by clearing out the economy 3 lot, the airport should have enough capacity along with its central parking garage.

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