MWAA Orders & Instructions 7-6-1

Non-Commercial Sale and Distribution of Printed Material, Solicitation of Money and Demonstrations at Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International Airports

Issued: October 30, 2017


  1. PURPOSE

This Orders & Instructions (O&I) establishes rules governing the non-commercial sale and distribution of printed material, solicitation of money and demonstrations by members of the public at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Reagan National) and Washington Dulles International Airport (Dulles International).  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Airports Authority), which operates Reagan National and Dulles International, has issued formal regulations that apply to these activities at the Airports.  The rules in this O&I are intended to facilitate the implementation and administration of those regulations.


  1. DISTRIBUTION

This O&I is distributed to Airports Authority employees, airlines, tenants, concessionaires, governmental agencies and others at Reagan National and Dulles International.


  1. CANCELLATION

O&I DCA 7-5-1, “Solicitation, Sale of Non-Commercial Material, Demonstrations and Distribution of Literature for Terminals A, B and C at Reagan National Airport,” dated May 18, 2016, is cancelled.


  1. BACKGROUND

Part 7 of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Regulations, which are available on the Airports Authority website, apply to the non-commercial sale and distribution of printed material, the solicitation of money and demonstrations inside and outside of the passenger terminals at Reagan National and Dulles International.  These regulations reflect the policy of the Airports Authority to allow members of the public access to certain locations on these Airports, following receipt an Airports Authority-issued permit, to engage in these non-commercial “Expressive Activities” (defined below).  The Part 7 Regulations, as well as this O&I, do not allow any Expressive Activities to take place at any location on the Airports other than the areas which the Airports Authority has specifically designated for these activities, and it is the policy of the Airports Authority that Expressive Activities are not to occur at any location on the Airports other than within these designated areas.


  1. DEFINITIONS
  1. Demonstration or Demonstrating means making speeches, marching, picketing, holding vigils and other forms of like conduct by one or more individuals which involves the communication by words or behavior of ideas, opinions, beliefs or views to Individuals on the Airport, and is undertaken with the intent or is likely to have the effect of drawing a group of listeners or onlookers.

  2. Distribution of Printed Material means the distribution of newspapers, leaflets, pamphlets and other forms of like written or printed material to Individuals on the Airport, excluding the distribution of printed material which is commercial in nature or purpose.

  3. Sale of Printed Material means the sale of flyers, brochures, pamphlets, books and other forms of like written or printed material to Individuals on the Airport, excluding the sale of printed material which is commercial in nature or purpose.

  4. Solicitation or Soliciting means the personal solicitation of money for immediate payment from Individuals on the Airport in a continuous or repetitive manner, excluding solicitation which is commercial in nature or purpose.

  5. Airport(s) means Reagan National Airport or Dulles International Airport or both Airports.

  6. Airport Operations means the Airport Operations Department at Reagan National or the Airports Operations Department at Dulles International or both.

  7. Designated Area means an area on Reagan National or Dulles International within which one or more Expressive Activities may take place pursuant to and in accordance with a Permit.

  8. Expressive Activity means each of the Sale of Printed Material, the Distribution of Printed Material, Solicitation and Demonstrations.

  9. Individuals on the Airport means  air transportation passengers, patrons of concession businesses and other members of the public while present (i) within those parts of the Passenger Terminals which are located before, or landside of, the passenger security checkpoints operated by the federal Transportation Security Administration, which are not leased to third parties by and are under the exclusive control of the Airports Authority, and to which members of the public have access, or (ii) on sidewalks which are immediately adjacent to the Passenger Terminals and to which members of the public have access.

  10. Passenger Terminals means Terminals A, B and C at Reagan National and the Main Terminal at Dulles International.

  11. Permit means a permit applied for and issued by Airport Operations under this O&I.

  12. Regulations means the Regulations of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.


  1. RULES APPLICABLE TO THE NON-COMMERCIAL SALE OF PRINTED MATERIAL, DISTRIBUTION OF PRINTED MATERIAL, SOLICITATIONS AND DEMONSTRATIONS ON THE AIRPORTS
  1. Sale of Printed Material

    1. The Sale of Printed Material is prohibited within all Passenger Terminals.

    2. The Sale of Printed Material outside of the Passenger Terminals may only be undertaken pursuant to and in compliance with a Permit, and only within the Designated Areas that are outside of and adjacent to a Passenger Terminal and are designated for the Sale of Printed Material.  These areas are identified in Section 6.F below and are shown in the attachments to this O&I.

    3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2), any sale of printed material that is commercial in nature or purpose may only be undertaken on an Airport with the approval of the Airports Authority provided under Part 6 of the Regulations.

  2. Distribution of Printed Material

    1. The Distribution of Printed Material may only be undertaken on the Airports pursuant to and in compliance with a Permit, and only within the Designated Areas that are inside, or outside and adjacent to, a Passenger Terminal, and are designated for the Distribution of Printed Material.  These areas are identified below in Section 6.F and are shown in the attachments to this O&I.

    2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1), any distribution of printed material that is commercial in nature or purpose may only be undertaken on an Airport with the approval of the Airports Authority provided under Part 6 of the Regulations.

  3. Solicitations

    1. Soliciting is prohibited within all Passenger Terminals.

    2. Soliciting outside of the Passenger Terminals may only be undertaken pursuant to and in compliance with a Permit, and only within the Designated Areas that are outside of and adjacent to a Passenger Terminal and are designated for Solicitations.  These areas are identified in Section 6.F below and are shown in the attachments to this O&I.

    3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2), any soliciting that is commercial in nature or purpose may only be undertaken on an Airport with the approval of the Airports Authority provided under Part 6 of the Regulations. 

  4. Demonstrations

Demonstrations may only be undertaken on an Airport pursuant to and in compliance with a Permit, and only within the Designated Areas that are inside, or outside and adjacent to, a Passenger Terminal and are designated for Demonstrations.  These areas are identified in Section 6.F below and are shown in the attachments to this O&I. 

  1. Permits

    1. Applications for a Permit shall be made on a form that is available from Airport Operations at Reagan National and Dulles International and is also available on the Airports Authority website.  When completed, the application shall be submitted by email or hand delivery to Airport Operations at least five business days, but no more than 30 calendar days, in advance of the Expressive Activity for which the Permit is sought.   Each completed application shall provide the following information and material in relation to the Expressive Activity it proposes to be undertaken on an Airport:

      1. the name, mailing address, phone number and email address of the applicant individual or organization that will conduct the Expressive Activity being proposed, and the name, cell phone number and email address of the individual who is signing the application on behalf of the applicant individual or organization;

      2. the name, cell phone number and email address of the individual who will supervise and be responsible for the conduct of the proposed Expressive Activity;

      3. a description of the proposed Expressive Activity and the Airport at which it will take place; 

      4. the name of each individual who will participate in the proposed Expressive Activity;

      5. the date, as well as the period of time on such date, which is proposed for the proposed Expressive Activity;

      6. the Designated Area(s) on the Airport (see Section 6.F below) which is proposed for the proposed Expressive Activity;

      7. when the proposed Expressive Activity involves the Sale of Printed Material or Soliciting that is intended to raise funds on behalf of a charitable, civic or similar organization, documentary evidence that the organization is duly registered (or is exempt from the requirement that it be registered) by the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs within the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and 

      8. when the proposed Expressive Activity involves the Distribution of Printed Material, a copy of the material to be distributed during the proposed activity.  (Such material shall be solely for the Airports Authority’s informational purposes and not for its exercise of any decision or judgment based on the material’s contents; provided, however, that a Permit will not be issued for any Expressive Activity that proposes to distribute printed material that is indecent or sexually explicit, portrays graphic violence, is likely to incite imminent lawless action or disorderly conduct, or violates any federal, state or local law.)

    2. Applications for a Permit will be processed by Airport Operations in the order they are received.

    3. Applications for a Permit will normally be acted upon by Airport Operations within three business days of its receipt of a fully completed and executed application.  Within that period, Airport Operations will either issue a Permit or provide a written response to the applicant which denies the application and states the reasons for the denial, which reasons are limited to the following:

      1. The application fails to meet the requirements of Section 6.E(1).  In this case, the Airport Operations will inform the applicant of the nature of the application’s failures;

      2. Due to one or more earlier applications submitted by other applicants under this O&I, space is not available in the Designated Area(s) proposed for the proposed Expressive Activity on the date and time identified in the application.  In this case, Airport Operations will offer to issue a Permit for an alternative Designated Area(s) or an alternative date and time;

      3. The nature of the proposed Expressive Activity is such that it cannot reasonably be accommodated in the proposed Designated Area(s) at the date and time applied for, taking into account the safety, security and operational requirements of the Airport, potential damage to Airports Authority facilities, pedestrian congestion, or significant impairment of the operations of Airport facilities or of Airport concessionaires or contractors.  In this case, Airport Operations will offer to issue a Permit to the applicant for an alternative Designated Area(s) or for an alternative date and time; and

      4. The applicant has committed significant violations of Part 7 of the Regulations, of this O&I or of the terms and conditions of Permits previously issued to the applicant.

    4. Permits shall be issued in the name of and to the applicant individual or organization and may not be transferred to any other individual or organization.

    5. Evidence of an issued Permit will be provided by Airport Operations to individuals identified in the Permit application as participants in the proposed Expressive Activity, and this evidence shall be prominently displayed on the outer garments of such individuals throughout their participation in the Expressive Activity.  This evidence will be provided to such participants following their signing an attachment to the Permit in which they agree to comply with the Permit’s terms and conditions that are applicable to participants in the Expressive Activity.

    6. Permits for the Distribution of Printed Material and Demonstrations within a Passenger Terminal on any particular day will not be issued, in advance of that day, for more than one-half of the Designated Areas available for such Expressive Activities within the terminal.

    7. Permits will prohibit the forms of conduct described below in Section 6.G,  will define the period of time during which the Permit is in effect, and will contain other terms and conditions that are determined by Airport Operations to be reasonably necessary to ensure the safety and convenience of air transportation passengers and other Airport patrons and the continuity of Airport operations during the proposed Expressive Activity.

    8. The denial of an application, in whole or part, by Airport Operations shall be conveyed to the applicant by letter or email.  The applicant  may appeal the denial to the manager of the Airport by means of a letter or email which states the reasons the applicant believes the denial to be inconsistent with this O&I or otherwise unwarranted.   The applicant shall deliver an appeal letter or email to the Airport manager within two business days of receiving the letter or email denying the application.  Within two business days of receiving the appeal, the Airport manager shall deliver by letter or email to the applicant a written decision which affirms, reverses or modifies the denial decision.  The Airport manager’s decision shall be the final decision of the Airports Authority.

  2. Designated Areas on the Airports in which Expressive Activities May Take Place with a Permit

The Sale of Printed Material, the Distribution of Printed, Solicitations and Demonstra-tions are prohibited in all areas, parts and locations on the Airports other than the Designated Areas identified in this Section 6.F, and only then with a Permit issued under this O&I.

  1. Designated Areas within Passenger Terminals.  The areas within Passenger Terminals that are identified in this paragraph (1) have been established as Designated Areas within which the Distribution of Printed Material and/or Demonstrations involving no more at any time than the number of participants stated below for each area may take place pursuant to and in compliance with a Permit.

    1. At Reagan National.  The following 11 Designated Areas are available within the Passenger Terminals at Reagan National.  Attachment A to this O&I depicts the locations of these Designated Areas.

      1. Terminal A – Ticketing/Baggage Claim:  2 areas shown in Attachment A within which the Distribution of Printed Material and Demonstrations may take place (1 participant per area);

      2. Terminal A – Historic Lobby:  2 areas shown in Attachment A within which the Distribution of Printed Material and Demonstrations may take place (1 participant per area);

      3. Terminals B and C – National Hall:  7 areas shown in Attachment A, within 6 of which the Distribution of Printed Material and Demonstrations may take place (1 participant per area) and within 1 of which Demonstrations only may take place (up to 12 participants).

    2. At Dulles International.  The following 7 Designated Areas are available within the Passenger Terminal at Dulles International.  Attach-ment B to this O&I depicts the locations of these Designated Areas.

      1. Main Terminal – Ticketing/Departures Level:  4 areas shown in Attachment B within which the Distribution of Printed Material and Demonstrations may take place (up to 3 participants per area);

      2. Main Terminal – Baggage Claim Level:  3 areas shown in Attachment B, within 2 of which the Distribution of Printed Material and Demonstrations may take place (up to 3 participants per area) and within 1 of which (adjacent to International Arrivals) Demonstrations only may take place (up to 12 participants);

  2. Designated Areas outside and adjacent to Passenger Terminals.  The areas located outside of and adjacent to Passenger Terminals that are identified in this paragraph (2) have been established as Designated Areas within which the Sale of Printed Material, the Distribution of Printed Material, Solicitations and/or   Demonstrations involving no more at any time than the number of participants stated below for each area may take place pursuant to and in compliance with a Permit.

    1. At Reagan National.  The following 11 Designated Areas are available outside and adjacent to the Passenger Terminals at Reagan National.  Attachment A to this O&I depicts the locations of these areas. 

      1. Terminal A – Curbside Check-in Sidewalk – 3 areas  shown in Attachment A, within 2 of which all Expressive Activities may take place (1 participant) and within 1 of which the Sale of Printed Material, the Distribution of Printed Material and Solicitations may take place (up to 3 participants) and the Demonstrations may take place (up to 12 participants);

      2. Terminals B and C – Ticketing Level Sidewalk:  6 areas shown in Attachment A within which all Expressive Activities may take place (1 participant per area);

      3. Terminal B – Ticketing Level South Terrace Sidewalk:  1 area shown in Attachment A within which all Expressive Activities may take place (up to 12 participants); and

      4. Terminal C – Ticketing Level North Terrace Sidewalk:  1 area shown in Attachment A within which all Expressive Activities may take place (up to 12 participants).

    2. At Dulles International.  The following 11 Designated Areas are available outside and adjacent to the Passenger Terminal at Dulles International.  Attachment B to this O&I depicts the locations of these areas.

      1. Main Terminal – Ticketing/Departures Sidewalk:  10 areas shown in Attachment B within which all Expressive Activities may take place (up to 10 participants per area); and

      2. Main Terminal – Baggage Claim/Commercial Curb Sidewalk:  1 area shown in Attachment B in which the Distribution of Printed Material only may take place (up to 3 participants).

  3. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this O&I, the managers of the Airports and the Vice President for the Public Safety, following the issuance of a Permit approving an Expressive Activity for a particular Designated Area of an Airport, may direct that the Expressive Activity be relocated to another location on the Airport when the relocation is determined to be required for reasons of public safety or the security or operational requirements of the Airport.

  1. Prohibited Conduct

Any individual who is involved or participating in the Sale of Printed Material, the Distribution of Printed Material, Soliciting or Demonstrating on an Airport pursuant to a Permit shall not, when engaged in such Expressive Activity:

  1. obstruct, delay or interfere with the free movement of any Individuals on the Airport, whether through verbal communication, unwanted physical contact, threatened unwanted physical contact or otherwise;

  2. intimidate or harass any Individuals on the Airport, including through threats of unwanted physical contact or repetitive verbal communications or solicitations;

  3. stand in a location other than in the Designated Area identified in the Permit;

  4. call out, hawk or shout to passersby who are Individuals on the Airport regarding printed material that is being sold or distributed;

  5. use any form of voice or noise amplification device;

  6. shout, chant or otherwise amplify one’s own voice in a manner that interferes with the ability of passengers to hear announcements being made over the Airport’s public address system, with the ability of airlines and other Airport tenants to conduct their businesses, or with the safe and orderly operation of the Airport;

  7. obstruct, delay or interfere with the movement of motor vehicles;

  8. place or erect in the Designated Area identified in the Permit, or any other area at the Airport, any tables, chairs, stands or other structures, unless expressly authorized by the Permit;

  9. fail to present or properly display evidence of the Permit;

  10. carry a banner or sign of any kind that is posted on poles or sticks or that is larger than six (6) feet in length and three (3) feet in width; and

  11. seek, receive or accept contributions or donations of money, unless expressly authorized by the Permit.

  1. Revocation of Permit

The manager of the Airport or the manager’s designee may revoke a Permit for failure of the applicant or the individuals participating in the Permit-approved Expressive Activity to comply with the Permit’s terms and conditions, or in the event of an emergency or other change in circumstances affecting Airport operations that precludes the Permit-approved Expressive Activity from taking place on the date and time stated in the Permit. 


  1. LEASE AREAS UNAFFECTED

Nothing in this O&I shall be construed as enabling any Expressive Activities to occur within the areas of the Airports that (i) are secured areas; (ii) that are beyond, or airside, of the passenger security checkpoints operated by the federal Transportation Security Administration; (iii) that are leased by the Airports Authority to airlines, concession businesses, government agencies or other tenants; or (iv) that are not Designated Areas.