Terminal 1 renovation nears completion

February 26, 2014 by  

Renovations at Terminal 1 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport are aiming to make the experience as pleasant as possible, and the terminal is slated to open this Sunday.

Workers are now on 24-hour shifts to finish the work on budget and on time. The terminal was built as a hangar in 1955.

The remodeling cost $68m, with the airport paying for the work in cash, thereby avoiding accruing any debt. The major tenant will be Southwest Airlines, which will own five of the nine gates available in this terminal. The other four are available for expansion or for other carriers to use.

Security check points and equipment are being tested and put in place, but so is a work of art by Martin Donlin, from England. The art uses an old map of Raleigh to which Donlin has added natural elements and people, and put names of North Carolina cities on the back. The piece is two stories high, made of glass, and titled ‘Metamorphosis’. There are also sculptures, called ‘Highwire Travelers’, installed near the terminal’s windows.

Once passengers reach the concourse, they will be able to eat at any of six restaurants, and browse through five shops while they wait for their flights.

Airport officials could work with a banner printing company to create colorful flags to celebrate the opening.