The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority today released the 2009 passenger statistics for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. Together, Washington’s airports served more than 40 million passengers last year.
Reagan National (DCA) served 17.6 million passengers in 2009, a 2.5 percent decrease from the 18 million passengers served in 2008. Dulles International (IAD) served 23.2 million passengers in 2009, a 2.8 percent decrease from the 23.9 million passengers served in 2008. The U.S. aviation industry experienced a 6.9 percent decrease in passenger traffic in 2009, according to the Air Transport Association.
International traffic at Dulles has risen every year since 2003 and remained steady in 2009 with 6.2 million international passengers. This .2 percent increase not only marks a new record for international passengers at Dulles, it outpaces the U.S. aviation industry’s 4.6 percent decline in international passengers for the year.
Despite current economic challenges, the Washington region remains one of the stronger air service markets in the country. Several airlines introduced new air service at Reagan National and Dulles International last year. At Dulles, United Airlines added daily service to Moscow in March and to Geneva in April, and American Airlines added non-stop daily service to San Juan, Puerto Rico in November. Two new airlines introduced service at Dulles in December: Mexicana with new direct, daily service to Cancun and Mexico City, and Air India with new direct, daily service to Delhi and Calcutta. At Reagan National, AirTran launched a new non-stop, twice-daily flight to Milwaukee in June.
In 2009, the Airports Authority completed work on several major projects aimed at improving the travel experience at both of our airports.
More than 800 new parking spaces opened at Reagan National with the completion of a new, fifth level added to Garage B/C. This is part of an ongoing parking expansion project that will ultimately add more than 1,400 new spaces to the Airport. Work is continuing to add a new, fifth level to Garage A. Also at Reagan National, a new 24,000 square foot Public Safety Communications Center opened in June. This state-of-the-art facility upgrades and expands the Airports Authority’s emergency operations capabilities.
New passenger security screening areas opened at Dulles in September, part of a new 121,700 square foot security mezzanine level added to the Main Terminal. These new screening areas replaced the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints previously located on the ticketing level. The first phase of a project to expand the International Arrivals Building also opened in September with 50 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing booths, new mobile lounge parking areas and a new mezzanine level. The next phases of this project will improve the facility’s baggage handling areas and renovate existing restroom facilities.