Strategic Alliance Will Pursue Innovations to Enhance Air Travel Experience

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has entered into a strategic alliance with 1776, an international firm that enables the growth of startup companies, to explore and encourage technologies for enhancing the passenger experience in airports and related businesses.

Under a marketing and collaboration agreement, 1776 and the Airports Authority will identify and mentor entrepreneurial firms that are pursuing new technologies and processes designed to improve and streamline the efficiency, effectiveness and convenience of air travel and related forms of transportation, which also could benefit other airports, transit agencies and other organizations that are part of the broader air-travel community.

“In today’s rapidly changing world of business and commerce, it is imperative that transportation providers, such as airports, take advantage of new technologies that help us meet the demands and expectations of our increasingly mobile customers,” said Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter.

“Startups and new technologies continue to rapidly disrupt the way we travel from point A to point B. 1776 is excited to partner with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to harness the latest innovations within the transportation and aviation industry, ” said Evan Burfield, 1776 cofounder & CEO.

“The brisk pace of innovation in this complex business environment makes teaming with 1776 a perfect relationship for the Airports Authority and its mission of providing world-class transportation services to the National Capital Area,” said Airports Authority Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Jerome L. Davis, noting that companies affiliated with 1776, such as travel-related mobile-application developer Airside Mobile, already are improving the air travel experience by introducing technologies such as Automated Passport Control devices that speed the processing of international passengers arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport.

“This innovation by Airside Mobile, which has helped to significantly streamline Customs processing at Dulles, is a prime example of the work we will be pursuing with our 1776 partners,” Davis said.  “We look forward to working together on the development and marketing of additional innovations that will help our airports – and the entire aviation industry – keep up with the quickly evolving trends that are shaping our business and the global economy.”

Innovations attained through the 1776 relationship join other initiatives and advancements already being implemented by the Airports Authority, including partnering with CLEAR, a firm that helps its members expedite passage through airport security lines, to advance biometric technology for the screening process; investing in mobile app technology to aid airport security screening and wayfinding; and in-house development of patented processes and technologies to make airport operations more efficient and the passenger experience more pleasant and convenient.

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. The Airports Authority generates more than 387,000 jobs in the National Capital Region. 

1776 is a global innovation network focused on solving critical challenges in sectors like education, energy, transportation and financial services. Launched by cofounders Donna Harris and Evan Burfield and headquartered in Washington, D.C., with additional campuses in Dubai, New York City and San Francisco, 1776 serves hundreds of startups and institutions worldwide through its innovation curriculum, mentorship, investment and programming. It hosts more than 500 international events per year that attract heads of state, Fortune 500 CEOs, influential investors and global press. For more information, please visit and follow @1776 on Twitter and @1776vc on Instagram.