Alexandria, VA— The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has announced that 1997 saw continued growth in passengers and airline service.
Said Airports Authority General Manager/CEO James A. Wilding, "Air service continues to grow as an industry and demand by travelers in the Washington metropolitan area continues as well. Therefore it is important for Washington’s airports to continue to keep pace with the need for improved facilities for air travelers and the airlines that serve them. The Airports Authority has been able to undertake the necessary construction projects to meet this demand."
In 1997, the new terminal at Washington National Airport opened to provide greatly improved facilities for travelers with improved access to the Metrorail system and parking facilities.
At Washington Dulles International Airport, the expansion of the Main Terminal and roadways was completed. On February 1, a new midfield Concourse B will open to provide additional aircraft gates for domestic and international airlines.
Over the last five years, Dulles has seen steady growth with a 25 per cent increase in passengers. In 1997, Dulles served approximately 13.7 million passengers, nearly a million more people and a 6.7 per cent increase compared to 12.8 million passengers in the previous year. Likewise freight/cargo increased 13.9 per cent to 352,169 metric tons.
Airports are an important part of the future of air service, and just as importantly, of the economic health of the communities they serve. Arlington County, Virginia has ranked aviation at the head of the list of the top ten employers in the county.
In 1997, it is estimated that Washington Dulles International and Washington National Airports alone contributed $5.8 billion in business revenue, employed over 26,000 people, and contributed $209 million in local and state taxes through airport activities.