Busier Than Ever: RDU Airport Led the Nation in Passenger Growth Last Year

    By Richard Stradling for the Raleigh News & Observer

    Raleigh-Durham International Airport was the fastest-growing large airport in the country last year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    About 22% more passengers boarded planes at RDU in 2023 than the previous year, the highest growth rate among the 50 largest airports in the U.S. The next fastest growing airports were San Francisco, Washington-Dulles, Luis Muñoz Marín in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Kansas City, which all saw growth of about 18%.

    Last year was a big one for RDU in many ways. The airport handled a record 14.5 million passengers and added four new airlines and flights to 25 new destinations.

    That growth continues, as 2024 is on pace to be another record year. RDU will add three new international destinations this summer: Lufthansa to Frankfurt, Germany, on June 6; Copa Airlines to Panama City on June 21; and Aeromexico to Mexico City on July 1.

    RDU now offers nonstop flights to 10 international destinations, the most in the airport’s history.

    The airport was the 38th busiest in the country in terms of boardings last year, according to the USDOT data — an RDU record of nearly 7.3 million passengers. The busiest was Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, where more than 50.8 million people boarded flights last year.

    The preceding article originally appeared on May 31, 2024 at The Raleigh News & Observer’s website and is made available here for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106A-117 of the U.S. Copyright Law.