The Dulles Day Plane Pull and Family Festival at Washington Dulles International Airport is expected to attract thousands of visitors for the airport’s annual free open house with a daylong schedule of activities, events and family fun on Saturday, September 19. This year’s plane pull will feature the addition of a second jet aircraft and a new international focus, as well as free transportation to and from the event on a special Silver Line Express bus running from the Silver Line Metrorail.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority works to make this airport open house bigger, better and more engaging for all visitors each year. Wide open spaces with views of nearby runways and taxiways provide a unique backdrop for families, aviation enthusiasts and the local community to discover Dulles and all it has to offer while enjoying food, entertainment and activities that benefit charity.
Last year’s event raised almost $300,000 for Special Olympics Virginia and attracted more than 15,000 visitors to Dulles International.
5K/10K Runway Run at 7:30 a.m.
The day will begin with an expanded Run on the Runway for registered participants at 7:30 a.m., which will not impact passenger access to Dulles International Airport. The run begins and ends behind the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, located on Dulles property off Route 28 via the Air & Space Museum Parkway exit. About 2,500 runners will run on a course that extends to Dulles Runway 1-Right and passes by a widebody United Airlines parked aircraft. Flight operations will continue normally on the airport’s other three runways.
Plane Pull and Family Festival from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Dulles Day Plane Pull and Family Festival will double the fun this year with a second plane being pulled. More than 70 teams are pre-registered to compete to be the fastest at pulling a full-size jet aircraft 12 feet in the shortest time. The planes, provided by FedEx and United Airlines, will be parked side-by-side for more rapid sequencing and excitement for spectators. Eight-time-champion Chesapeake, Virginia, Sheriff’s office will be defending its title at the event.
This year also marks the introduction of the new “International Row” to the Dulles Day lineup. This exhibit is intended to raise the public’s awareness of the non-stop international cities served by Dulles International, as well as to educate travelers about easy ways to expedite security screening with tips from Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration. The booth will also welcome Lufthansa Airlines, Aeroflot Airlines, the Russian Embassy and Tourism representatives, and the Belgian Embassy and Tourism offices.
Dulles Day is open to the public from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is free. Besides the plane pull, the festival grounds will feature many other activities for the enjoyment of all who attend:
- More than 40 current and vintage aircraft on display, including the return of military support and cargo aircraft such as the C-17, A-10, MV-22 Osprey. View a more detailed aircraft list.
- Classic car show with about 50 cars and motorcycles
- Airfield tours aboard the famous Dulles Mobile Lounges
- Kids’ play area with bounce houses, truck pull and dunk-a-cop tank
- “Trackless Train” running back and forth to carry attendees along the length of the site
- Equipment displays by Airports Authority Police, Fire and Rescue and Maintenance
- Take a ride in an Airports Authority fire truck
- Police K-9 demonstrations scheduled for 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
- Food and beverages from several vendors and food trucks available for purchase
View the Dulles Day event site map here.
There are two FREE options to reach Dulles Day:
- Ride a special Silver Line Express bus from Metrorail’s Silver Line – Free, nonstop “Dulles Day” buses will operate to/from Metro’s Wiehle-Reston East station from 9:30 a.m. on September 19 until the conclusion of the festival. Staff members at each location will assist riders in boarding the correct bus.
- Park in the designated event parking lot – To reach Dulles Day by car, drive to the airport using the Airport Access Highway and keep right when entering airport grounds. Follow electronic signs to event parking. View the Dulles Day event parking map here. Free shuttles will transport all patrons to and from the event entrance. Parking lots and shuttle buses are accessible for the disabled.
Airport passengers arriving for their flight by car should keep left on airport grounds to avoid Dulles Day traffic. The Silver Line Express bus will operate on its normal schedule and charge the regular $5 per passenger fare in each direction to and from the airport terminal.
Dulles Day patrons are reminded not to bring backpacks, weapons, coolers or pets (except service animals). Cameras are welcome and encouraged!
To support Special Olympics Virginia, visit planepull.com or call 703-359-4301.
Media are welcome at Dulles Day. To make advance arrangements or for other questions, contact Holly Claytor at 804-370-7916 firstname.lastname@example.org or Rob Yingling at 703-417-8744 Rob.Yingling@mwaa.com.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, established in 1987 by the governments of Virginia and the District of Columbia, manages and operates Washington’s Ronald Reagan National and 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, Virginia. 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.
Special Olympics Virginia is an accredited state program of Special Olympics Incorporated. Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day, around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Visit us at specialolympicsva.org. Engage with us on Twitter @solympicsva; Facebook; Instagram @specialolympicsva and YouTube.