At its monthly board of directors meeting on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority highlighted initiatives currently underway to enhance customer service at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, including preparations to connect passengers to Dulles International quicker and easier than ever following the start of WMATA’s Phase 1 Silver Line service on July 26.
With the opening of the new Metro line, Dulles International will begin running enhanced Washington Flyer bus service – the Silver Line Express – from the Silver Line’s terminus at the Wiehle-Reston East Station. The new bus service will cost just $5 and will take only minutes, replacing the existing, longer Washington Flyer bus route from the West Falls Church station. The low cost of the Silver Line Express, combined with the Metrorail fare, means passengers can get to the airport for just $11 or less. Amenities include free Wi-Fi service, luggage storage and curbside to curbside service for a convenient travel experience to Washington Dulles International. For more information visit flydulles.com/silverlineexpress.
In other news related to the Silver Line, Jack Potter, President and CEO, announced significant progress in project financing. “We have received distribution of the first $100 million installment of the $300 million the Virginia General Assembly dedicated last year to support the construction project,” Potter said. “This assistance from the Commonwealth, combined with our recently approved TIFIA loan, is enabling us to hold toll rates on the Dulles Toll Road at their current levels for the next five years.”
Even as Phase 1 of the Silver Line is readied for the start of service, the Airports Authority board of directors heard an update on construction of Phase 2, which is moving forward and will directly connect Washington Dulles International Airport with the Metrorail system.
The board also heard reports on strides Reagan National and Dulles International airports are making in the ongoing redevelopment of airport concessions. During the past several weeks and months, new restaurants and stores have been transforming the shopping and dining opportunities for passengers, including brands such as LaCoste, Vineyard Vines, Au Bon Pain and Bistro Atelier. View Reagan National redevelopment here. View Dulles International Redevelopment here.
Additionally, parking at Reagan National – already strained by an increase in passengers as a result of new air service, changes in federal regulation and airline mergers – is being enhanced in an effort to meet the needs of travelers. The airport expanded the economy lot, adding nearly 200 parking spaces, and is renovating another lot to create 105 new spaces. Travelers can check parking availability before they head to the airport on Reagan National’s website.
Passengers at both Reagan National and Dulles International will be treated to the airports’ fourth annual Summer Jazz Series during the busy summer travel season. Performances will feature several styles of jazz, including Brazilian, contemporary, classical, mainstream and soul. The music series will be held pre-security and is open to the public. The summer fun kicks off on Thursday, July 17, and runs through August 14. Visit here for more information about the summer music series.
Directors also received an update about changes in air service at Reagan National and Dulles International airports, as well as details related to airline gate relocation and signage changes at Reagan National. Beginning in September, JetBlue will move from its current location in Terminal A to Terminal B/C, and Southwest will expand in Terminal A. The airline relocation will be the most noticeable change as airlines begin using the flights acquired during the recent slot US Airways/American slot divestiture.
There will be no board of directors meeting in August. The monthly meetings will resume in September.
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, and generates more than 387,000 jobs and 4.5 percent of GDP in the National Capital Region.