Recently, Mitchell Lewis invited our airport director, Mike Landguth, to join him on set for WUNC-TV’s NC Now and I was able to tag along. During the extended interview, Mike answered questions about his career, new air service and, yes, the future of the Big Blue Box, also known as Terminal 1.
Here’s a preview:
The Path to RDU
Before beginning his career in airports, Mike wanted to become a pilot. When this didn’t work out, he found a mentor who set him on the path to becoming an airport director.
From Here to San Francisco
While the announcement of new service this past year to San Francisco, Los Angeles and St. Louis is welcome news, Mike was surprised that so much new service was announced to begin at RDU. Why? Because things are changing in the aviation industry. With fewer aircraft in the air, there is more competition among airports for limited airline resources. It says something about our community that in this environment, airlines are launching new service from RDU.
The Big Blue Box
When Terminal 1 opens to the public next year, you will no longer be able to call it the Big Blue Box. The blue panels have been removed and are now in the process of being replaced with large windows. The terminal will also feature four works of art, a new security checkpoint and the country’s first ACC Café.
What’s Next for Terminal 1
Even before Terminal 1 opens, the Airport Authority is already planning on how and when to demolish the north and south sections of the building, including the area Southwest and Air Tran operate from today. He also talks about why it’s going to take a bit of time before the walls come down.
Live, and Local, Music
Want to hear live, local music? Join RDU on the first Friday of each month for the Friday Music Series. The program originally began more than 20 years ago as RDU’s Holiday Music Series. The program was such a hit with passengers that we expanded it a few years ago to bring local music to the terminals year-round.
And one last thing you won’t see on camera. Mike is a big fan of Cookie Monster, and of cookies. He got to meet his furry friend while at the station, and I was able to snap a photo.
If you missed the show on UNC-TV, you can watch it here. Mike’s interview begins at 14:30.