Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Margaret McKeough was named by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the department’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board on Tuesday. The 32-member board, made up of leaders from across the industry, advises the secretary on matters related to travel and tourism in the United States in order to help prioritize policy that will contribute to growth.
“Reagan National and Washington Dulles International are prime gateways for visitors to and from the National Capital Region, serving more than 40 million passengers and contributing billion of dollars to the local economy annually,” said McKeough. “Ensuring that all travelers have a positive experience using the air travel system is of the utmost importance. This board enables coordination among all segments of the travel industry, which helps create opportunities to enhance and grow travel and tourism, not just here in Washington, but across the country.”
The Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, established in 2003, provides advice to help the government prioritize the travel and tourism policies that will contribute to growth, including enhanced visa issuance and travel facilitation, increased investment in transportation infrastructure, and research for decision-making. Government agencies that are part of the Tourism Policy Council, including the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Transportation and Interior, have considered the board’s advice as they have worked to make progress on these issues. The board also has provided input into the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, and its continued efforts will play an important role in reaching the strategy’s goal of attracting 100 million international visitors to the United States annually by 2021.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, established in 1987 by the governments of Virginia and the District of Columbia, manages and operates Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports, which together serve more than 40 million passengers a year. The Airports Authority also operates and maintains the Dulles Airport Access Road and the Dulles Toll Road and manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail system into Loudoun County, Va. No tax dollars are used to operate the toll road, which is funded by toll revenues, or the airports, which are funded through aircraft landing fees, rents and revenues from concessions. The Silver Line construction is funded by a combination of toll-road revenues, airport contributions and federal, state and local government appropriations. The Airports Authority is led by a 17-member board of directors appointed by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and the president of the United States.