The Dulles Day Plane Pull at Washington Dulles International Airport is expected to attract thousands of visitors for the airport’s annual free open house with a daylong schedule of activities, events and family fun on Saturday, September 23. Nearly 100 teams from the community will pull two jet aircraft with ropes in friendly competition that originated at Dulles 25 years ago and has raised more than $2 million for Special Olympics Virginia since the event's inception.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority works to make this community event better and more engaging for all visitors each year. Views of nearby runways and taxiways provide a unique backdrop for families, aviation enthusiasts and future flyers to discover Dulles and all it has to offer while enjoying food, entertainment and activities that benefit charity.
5K/10K Runway Run from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. (for registered participants only)
Dulles Day will begin with the fifth annual Run on the Runway for registered participants at 7:30 a.m., without any impacts on passenger flights at the airport. About 2,500 runners will gather behind the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, located off Route 28 via the Air & Space Museum Parkway exit. The course will take runners onto Dulles Runway "1-Right" and past a widebody United Airlines aircraft as a picturesque backdrop. Video of runners on the runway will be broadcast live on the FlyDulles facebook page.
Dulles Day Plane Pull from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (FREE public open house)
The Dulles Day Plane Pull will feature two full-size jet aircraft parked side-by-side and nearly 100 teams from companies and community organizations taking turns pulling the planes 12 feet with ropes as fast as they can. The planes are provided by FedEx and United Airlines. Winners will receive trophies and bragging rights, but the real winners will be the Special Olympics Virginia athletes who benefit from the teams’ fundraising activities prior to the event. In each of the last 10 years, the Chesapeake, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office achieved the fastest pull time and will return with expectations of extending its winning streak.
Dulles Day is open to the public from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is free. No entry after 3:45 p.m. The plane-pull competition kicks off at 11 a.m. and will span several hours. Besides the Plane Pull, the open house will feature many other activities for the enjoyment of all who attend:
- An “International Row” immediately inside the entrance gate with exhibits focusing on travel, hosted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, TSA, CLEAR registered traveler and the National Air and Space Museum.
- Views of the adjacent runway with domestic and international flights taking off and landing.
- More than 40 current and vintage aircraft on display, including military support and cargo aircraft such as DC-3, U.S Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, C-17 Globemaster and a privately owned Sea Harrier jet that will perform aerial maneuvers when it arrives (at 11:45 a.m.) and departs (at 3:30 p.m.). View a more detailed aircraft list here.
- Classic car show with about 50 cars and motorcycles.
- Appearances by Miss Virginia and Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.
- Airfield tours aboard the famous Dulles Mobile Lounges for $1 per rider.
- Kids’ play area near the main entrance with bounce houses.
- Kids' truck pull (register onsite) and dunk-a-cop tank.
- “Trackless Train” running back and forth to carry attendees along the length of the site.
- Equipment displays by Airports Authority Police, Fire and Rescue and Maintenance.
- Take a ride in an Airports Authority fire truck for a $5 donation to Special Olympics.
- Police K-9 demonstrations scheduled for every hour beginning at 11:30 a.m.
- Food and beverages from a variety of vendors and food trucks available for purchase.
There are two FREE options to reach the Dulles Day Plane Pull:
- Park in the designated public parking area – To reach the Plane Pull by car, drive to the airport using the Airport Access Highway and keep right when entering airport grounds. Follow electronic signs to "event parking." View the Dulles Day parking map here. Free shuttles will transport patrons to and from the main entrance. Parking lots and shuttle buses are accessible for the disabled.
- Ride a special Silver Line Express bus from Metrorail’s Silver Line – Free, nonstop “Plane Pull” buses will operate to/from Metro’s Wiehle-Reston East station beginning at 10 a.m. on September 23 until the conclusion of Dulles Day.
Drivers’ Note: Airport passengers arriving for their flights by car should keep left on the Airport Access Highway to avoid Plane Pull event traffic. The regular Silver Line Express bus will operate on its normal schedule and charge the usual $5 per passenger fare in each direction to and from the airport terminal.
Dulles Day patrons are reminded not to bring backpacks, weapons, coolers or pets (except service animals). Enforcement will be strict at the entrance gate. Cameras are welcome and encouraged!
To support Special Olympics Virginia, visit planepull.com or call 703-359-4301.
Media are welcome at Dulles Day. To make advance arrangements or for other questions, contact Holly Claytor at 804-370-7916 firstname.lastname@example.org or Rob Yingling at 703-417-8744 Rob.Yingling@mwaa.com.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road and also manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail public transit system through Fairfax County and into Loudoun County, Virginia. More than 45 million passengers a year pass through the two airports.
Special Olympics Virginia is an accredited state program of Special Olympics Incorporated. Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day, around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Visit us at specialolympicsva.org. Engage with us on Twitter @solympicsva; Facebook; Instagram @specialolympicsva and YouTube.