Fulfilling Our Purpose, Impacting Our Region

I tell people all the time that I love managing an airport. Why?  Each day, I have the privilege of leading a very talented team of people who play a role in enhancing the community where I live.  While part of that involves being a good ambassador for the region by providing passengers with an outstanding experience in the terminals, it also means contributing to the community’s economic success. 

We serve one purpose as an airport – to support the growth of the region by providing air service that will enhance business and industry and to give our residents more travel options.  Therefore, the reach of RDU can be felt far beyond the miles of perimeter fencing surrounding our airfields.

According to study by the N.C. Department of Transportation, RDU contributes more than $7 billion annually to the region's economy.

According to study by the N.C. Department of Transportation, RDU contributes more than $7 billion annually to the region’s economy.

A recently-released report from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation helps explain just how much of an impact we have at the airport. According to the study, RDU provides a $7.8 billion impact on our region each year, and we are responsible for 20,600 jobs that are dependent, in some way, on the airport.

So, how do the numbers break down?

  • $1.4 billion is the investment of businesses directly related to the airport. Examples include the restaurants and shops in the terminals, hotels and gas stations surrounding our property and contractors that work on the airport’s facilities.


  • $2.7 billion comes from spending by the companies that support direct operations. This includes businesses that purchase food for the terminals, leases for offices and equipment rentals for contractors.


  • $3.7 billion is how much money the employees holding the 20,600 jobs related to the airport spend each year in our region.

Those are large numbers, which demonstrate the tremendous responsibility we have in providing for the Research Triangle Region’s air service needs. It’s a mission we accept and one that has our full attention.

In my next post, I’ll share with you how we’re refocusing our efforts to bring an even greater economic impact to our region.

About Mike Landguth

Mike Landguth, AAE, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, which manages Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Mike joined RDU in November 2011. He and his family live in Cary along with their trusty canine sidekick, Thunder.
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2 Responses to Fulfilling Our Purpose, Impacting Our Region

  1. I am interested in your thoughts about developing an Aviation Academy in partnership with Embry Riddle, regional public school systems and GE Aviation. This might even create a more significant impact on our region.
    Rick Sheldahl-Career and Technical Education Director, Durham Public Schools

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