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Business & Economy

Senate Budget Gives RDU A Big Lift

Inside Raleigh-Durham International Airport, RDU

The state Senate's proposed budget includes more than $60 million for projects at Raleigh-Durham and Piedmont-Triad International Airports.

The vast majority of that will go to RDU to replace its aging runway near Terminal 2. 

Airport spokeswoman Kristie VanAuken said the airport is pleased that the Senate set aside money for the runway, which serves some of RDU's most popular flights.

“We think that this project will cost upwards of $300 million, and things like our Paris flight, our London flight, and our west coast flights could all be at risk if we don't get this runway replaced,” she said.

Read: See Where the Governor's Budget Differs from the Senate

To replace the 10,000-foot runway, the airport would receive $52 million from the state taxpayers, according to the Senate’s budget proposal.

VanAuken says the federal government has not been as reliable with funds for the project.  Engineers estimate the runway has about four years of stability left.

“No matter what we say, there's just not the money in federal programs that typically fund aviation infrastructure to support this runway program at the level that we're going to need it,” VanAuken said.

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