Dulles International, Reagan National Airports Report Another Year of Record Passenger Growth

February 20, 2018

International and Domestic Travelers Totaled 46.6 Million in 2017

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The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority recently announced 2017 year-end passenger traffic totaling 46.6 million for the two-airport system, continuing the trend of domestic and international growth at Dulles International and Reagan National airports. Reported growth was fueled by additions of new international airlines and destinations that further strengthen Dulles International’s position as the National Capital Region’s premier global gateway, with 38 carriers serving 78 destinations across the U.S. and 57 nonstop destinations around the world.

“2017 marked a record number of passengers traveling through Dulles International and Reagan National airports,” said Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter. “We look forward to continued growth in 2018 as we welcome new airlines to our Airports, break ground on a multi-million dollar capital improvement program and continue to provide passengers an outstanding travel experience.”


Dulles International Passenger Activity

  2016 2017 Change
Domestic 14,348,729 14,971,813 623,084 4.3%
International 7,476,860 7,742,959 266,099 3.6%
Total 21,825,589 22,714,772 889,183 4.1%

Reagan National Passenger Activity

  2016 2017 Change
Domestic 23,237,951 23,527,411 289,460 1.2%
International 335,806 377,996 42,190 12.6%
Total 23,573,757 23,905,407 331,650 1.4%

At Dulles International, the region’s largest international hub with 33 carriers serving 57 international destinations, international traffic grew for the 14th consecutive year to a record 7.7 million passengers. Domestic activity also increased for a third straight year, growing overall passenger traffic by 4.1 percent to 22.7 million in 2017. The uptick was supported by domestic growth of United’s Dulles hub operations and double-digit traffic increases from Frontier (60.7 percent) and Southwest (10.1 percent).

On the international service side, Air India began new service, while nearly a dozen airlines increased passenger service by at least 10 percent over 2016 through additional flights and aircraft up-gauges:


Air Carrier Increase
Royal Air Maroc 239%
Air Canada 55.6%
Air China 41.1%
Aer Lingus 31.7%
Icelandair 25.5%
Brussels Air 20.2%
Ethopian Air 15.8%
AeroMexico 11.5%
COPA 11.1%

Reagan National passenger traffic set a seventh consecutive record in 2017, serving 23.9 million travelers. Growth was fueled by passenger increases on Delta, United and Alaska, as well as international increases by American and Air Canada. Domestic passenger figures for American, the airport’s largest carrier, saw 1.2 percent growth from the prior year with 11.7 million passengers served.

The Airports Authority continued to make improvements to both airports in 2017 aimed at providing added conveniences and an improved experience for travelers. Enhancements included nine new shops and restaurants at Dulles International and eight new shops and restaurants at Reagan National. Since 2013, 146 new concessions have opened at both airports.

In addition, the Airports Authority kicked off its multi-year capital improvement project in 2017 to alleviate congestion and enhance security at Reagan National. The construction effort, called Project Journey, is transforming the passenger experience by building new security checkpoints to improve post-security connectivity and replacing the 14 outdoor boarding areas currently served through Gate 35X with a new concourse that keeps passengers out of the weather.

Detailed 2017 travel statistics for Reagan National and Dulles International Airports can be found online.


About the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates the U.S. Capital Region’s gateways to the nation and the world, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, as well as the Dulles Airport Access Highway, the Dulles Toll Road and construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Metrorail public transit system through northern Virginia. A record 46.6 million passengers passed through the two airports in 2017.