Community leaders from the Sao Paulo state of Brazil toured facilities at Washington Dulles International and the Dulles Corridor this week for a first-hand look at how airports can anchor regional economic growth and development.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Loudoun County co-hosted the Brazilian delegation at Dulles International Airport on Tuesday, August 15. The event, designed to build stronger business ties between the two regions and share best practices in economic development, was significant for both the Loudoun County and Brazilian delegations because of similarities between the two national capital regions.
“Loudoun County and the Sao Paulo region have many important things in common, including being home to their capital city’s international gateway airport, their distance from downtown, their strong economic growth and their active interest in economic opportunity and innovative transportation,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall, who led the Loudoun delegation along with Loudoun County Economic Development Director Buddy Rizer.
“Loudoun County and the city of Guarulhos share a number of regional benefits, including our relationships with our airports, as well as regional challenges,” Randall said. “When our respective regions become more familiar with each other, and learn from each other, both of our economies benefit, along with each region’s citizens and visitors.”
The Sao Paulo delegation, led by Mayor Gustavo Henric Costa of the city of Guarulhos, home to Sao Paulo’s international airport, included 20 government officials, business leaders and investors, along with representatives of Brazil’s U.S. embassy, who talked with airport and county officials about Dulles Airport’ role in development around the airport, bringing businesses to the area and expanding the Dulles Corridor, one of the most technology-concentrated business zones in the United States. Discussions also highlighted the economic development benefits of the Silver Line extension of the region’s Metrorail public transit system, for which the Airports Authority is managing construction.
“These opportunities for collaboration help attract business interest and public attention to the great things the Airports Authority is achieving, and also allows us to work with our communities to benefit to expand and enhance our regional economy,” said Airports Authority Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Jerome L. Davis. “Working with our counterparts from Brazil further elevates Dulles Airport’s profile in the international community and positions us for continued growth in travel, trade and business sectors.”
The Dulles Corridor, which extends from the Capital Beltway to the airport, along the Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Access Highway, is one of the fastest-growing areas of the United States in terms of economic development and job creation. Much of the growth in recent years has been fueled by the rising number of global airlines serving Dulles International and the construction of the Silver Line. The area is home to an increasing number of global corporations, and the airport supports more than 34,000 jobs and brings millions of tourists and business visitors to the Washington, D.C., area each year.