Airports Authority Launches Plan to Incorporate New Ground Transportation Options at Washington’s Airports

Published: May 20, 2015

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority proposed new regulations Wednesday that would better incorporate companies such as Uber and Lyft into the ground transportation operations at Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The proposal, which better aligns these ground transportation options with the requirements on other services operating at the airports, is the first step in a formal public comment process that will lead to a revised code of regulations for ground transportation at the airports.

“As the demand for new, app-based ground transportation choices has grown at Reagan National and Dulles International, the Airports Authority has worked to incorporate those options into the fabric of our airports,” said Airports Authority Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Margaret McKeough. “We want our customers to have convenient access to the ground transportation choices they desire, while still ensuring the quality they deserve.”

Under the proposed regulations transportation network companies such Uber and Lyft, as well as traditional limousine and car service providers, would be allowed to operate on the two airports if they are authorized to operate by a state or local government in the Washington metropolitan area, obtain an operating permit from the Airports Authority and pay a an access fee to cover costs associated with maintenance and renovation of airport infrastructure. Waiting areas will be created on both airports where transportation network company vehicles and limousines will be able to wait and arrange trips with passengers, increasing the convenience to passengers by having cars nearby and ready when requested.

The board voted to begin a 30-day public comment period on the proposed regulations, including four public hearings. Two public hearings will be held at Dulles International on June 9, at noon and 7 p.m., and two at Reagan National on June 10, also at noon and 7 p.m. Following the public comment period, feedback will be reviewed for incorporation into final regulations, which will be presented to the board for consideration.

The Airports Authority board of directors also approved the selection of an architectural-engineering firm to design improvements at Reagan National Airport. The construction program, which will help ease crowding in the airport’s B/C Terminal and replace outdoor commuter boarding areas with an indoor facility, will be undertaken by AIR Alliance, a joint venture of AECOM and PGAL – transportation architecture and engineering firms that have worked on several major aviation construction projects around the country, including new terminals at Los Angeles World Airport, McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

The $1 billion Reagan National Airport improvement program is focused on improving customer service at the airport in response to record passenger growth in recent years. The program will include the construction of a new concourse to replace the 14 outdoor boarding areas on the north side of the airport. The program will also relocate security checkpoints in the B/C Terminal to allow passengers post-security access between the terminal gate areas and relieve congestion for travelers waiting at their gates. With the adjustment of the security checkpoints, the primary shopping and dining locations in the airport, known as National Hall, will become post-security, better serving passengers waiting for their planes.

Additional information about the Reagan National Construction program is available here.

Finally, the board of directors voted to confirm Derric Gregory Sr., as the Airports Authority’s new vice president for audit. Gregory, a certified public accountant, has more than 20 years’ experience in auditing, risk management, compliance, governance and accounting. He was most recently the president of Dimension Partners, LLC of Durham, North Carolina, providing strategic consulting services in internal audit, enterprise risk management and financial services.

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 Airports Authority generates more than 387,000 jobs in the National Capital Region.