Newly released data reveal more than 42.2 million passengers traveled through Washington’s Airports in 2012. Included in the total are a record-breaking 19.7 million passengers at Reagan National and 6.7 million international passengers at Dulles International. A full report detailing the statistics was presented at today’s Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors meeting.
“Dulles continues to lead the way as the region’s premier international gateway,” Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter said. “Overall, Washington’s airports grew in passenger service during 2012. This puts us in a very good position for continued success going forward at Reagan National and Dulles International.”
Reagan National’s 2012 passenger traffic increase of 4.4 percent well exceeded the U.S. industry growth average of less than 1 percent. The completion of slot transactions authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation resulted in new service by US Airways and JetBlue. In addition, new slots were authorized by the passage of an FAA reauthorization bill in 2012, adding new service and a new airline – Virgin America.
The airport continues to be a popular choice because of its proximity to downtown Washington. A construction project in 2013 will address some of the increased demand at Reagan National, expanding security screening areas in Terminal A to provide improved access for passengers using the terminal’s nine gates.
International passenger travel grew by 2 percent at Dulles, the ninth consecutive year of growth since 2003. New service to Dulles in 2012 added more than 70 international flights per week and included new airlines Porter, Aeromexico and Emirates, serving Toronto, Mexico City and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, respectively. Existing carriers launched or boosted service to Doha, Qatar; Manchester, England; Dublin; El Salvador; Panama; and Grand Cayman.
International service will continue to expand in 2013. On March 31, Etihad will add daily service to Abu Dhabi, making Dulles the second largest U.S. gateway to the Middle East with 43 weekly departures to seven Middle East markets. Dulles will further see the addition of new carrier Brussels Airlines in mid-2013 and new service on United to Guatemala, Costa Rica and Vancouver. Dulles saw domestic service declines mainly resulting from the transfer of some airline routes to Reagan National and reduced capacity on other routes. The airport’s world-class International Arrivals Building and capacity for significant additional growth continue to make Dulles an attractive option for future air service expansion.
Wednesday’s board agenda included briefings on the Silver Line Metrorail Project, financial reports and small business contracting. Chairman Michael A. Curto said, “Phase One of the Silver Line project remains on track for late-summer substantial completion, and we remain on schedule to award the primary design-build contract for Phase Two this spring.” The final request for proposals was recently issued to the five construction teams selected to compete for the contract.
A major revision to the Authority’s Contracting Manual is nearly complete. A draft was circulated in December to various federal agencies for comment. Only a few issues remain to be closed out following a 2012 audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General. Employees actively engaged in procurement will be trained when the new manual is adopted.
“The new contracting manual and associated training will help assure that the Authority’s procurement process reflects the best practices of government and industry,” Potter said.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority was established in 1987 by the governments of Virginia and the District of Columbia to manage and operate Washington’s Ronald Reagan National and 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 taxpayer money is 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 Silver Line construction is funded by a combination of toll-road revenues, airport contributions and federal, state and local government appropriations. The Airports Authority is led by a 17- member board of directors appointed by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and the president of the United States.