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The News & Observer: Airport infrastructure needs renovation

By Michael Landguth and Ed Rendell

December 28, 2017

There has been much talk in Washington about the need to invest in our nation’s failing infrastructure but few tangible steps have been taken so far to prioritize and fund infrastructure projects that will keep the United States globally competitive.

Airports are a prime example. RDU is growing fast and its primary Runway 5L/23R needs to be replaced. Yet, despite having contributed hundreds of millions of dollars into federal coffers for aviation projects, RDU receives only 3.7 cents back for every dollar contributed.

We are so pleased that the U.S. Senate has produced the first transportation funding proposal that improves America’s airports. This proposal provides sustainable funding to upgrade airport facilities, attract new air service and improve the passenger experience. U.S. airports have identified $100 billion in infrastructure improvements needed within five years. Airports should have the ability to generate more local revenue for runways, terminals and other projects to meet today’s demands and tomorrow’s challenges.

RDU’s Vision2040 Master Plan will allow the airport to serve the aviation needs of central North Carolina for decades to come. Vision2040 will require additional federal resources and flexible funding tools. With so many divisive issues plaguing our nation, it’s refreshing to see Congress working in a bipartisan effort to modernize America’s aging infrastructure. Congress now needs to take the next step and give final approval to these essential infrastructure improvements. American travelers deserve updated facilities, shorter security lines and more airline competition. Let’s get to work.

Michael Landguth is the President and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority

Ed Rendell is the Former Governor of Pennsylvania and Current Co-Chair of Building America's Future