Alexandria, VA—Alexandria, VA— The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has announced that 1997 saw dramatic growth in the number of passengers using Washington Dulles International Airport -- a million-passenger increase.
Said Airports Authority General Manager/CEO James A. Wilding, "Air service continues to grow as an industry and demand by travelers in the Washington metropolitan area continues as well. Therefore it is important for Washington’s airports to continue to keep pace with the need for improved facilities for air travelers and the airlines that serve them. The Airports Authority has been able to undertake the necessary construction projects to meet this demand."
Today, elected officials, regional leaders and airport officials gathered with invited guests to officially dedicate the newest addition to Dulles Airport, a 424,000 square foot building that will provide 17 new gates for domestic and international airlines. The building, called Concourse B, will open for business on Sunday, February 1st.
Over the last five years, Dulles has seen steady growth with a 25 per cent increase in passengers. In 1997, Dulles served approximately 13.8 million passengers, nearly a million more people and a 6.7 per cent increase compared to the 12.8 million passengers in the previous year. Likewise freight/cargo increased 13.9 per cent to 352,169 metric tons.
The past year also saw expansion of air service to the following markets:
International: Varig Brazilian Airlines started daily direct service to Sao Paulo and on to Rio de Janeiro. Spanair started non-stop service four times a week to Madrid.
New domestic service:
America West began daily non-stop service to Las Vegas and Phoenix.
In addition, airlines currently serving Dulles added new routes: AirTran--Boston, Chicago Midway; Pan Am-- Hartford; United Express-- New York LaGuardia; and Western Pacific--Denver.
United Express launched 50-passenger regional jet service to Atlanta, Ft.Myers, Jacksonville, Nashville and Tampa.
Airports are an important part of the future of air service, and just as importantly, of the economic health of the communities they serve. Arlington County, Virginia has ranked aviation at the head of the list of the top ten employers in the county.
In 1997, it is estimated that Washington Dulles International and Washington National Airports contributed $5.8 billion in business revenue, employed over 26,000 people, and contributed $209 million in local and state taxes through airport activities.