In 2016, the Airports Authority’s Board of Directors initiated a review of the levels of compensation that certain businesses operating on Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International Airports were providing their on-Airport workers.  The Board formed a special committee to undertake this review and then, based on its review, to submit recommendations to the Board.  The special committee conducted this review over a multiple month period during which it obtained input from airlines, concessionaries, labor organizations and airport workers, and received briefings from Airports Authority staff.  This work culminated in a committee report which recommended that the Board adopt an Airport Workers Wage Policy, as outlined in the committee report.  On April 19, 2017, the Board accepted the special committee’s recommendation and passed Resolution No. 17-8 in which it formally adopted an Airport Workers Wage Policy. 

In keeping with the 2017 resolution’s requirement that the Board review the implement of the new Policy and recommend any changes by December 31, 2019, on June 19, 2019, the Board formed a second special committee to analyze the impacts of the program. On December 18, 2019, the Board passed Resolution 19-X, which amended Resolution 17-8, adjusting the base wage rate in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and making small additions to the types of businesses covered by the program.

The adopted Airport Workers Wage Policy applies to businesses operating at Reagan National or Dulles International Airport which provide (1) commercial aviation support services to airlines operating at the Airport,  (2) concession services within a terminal or concourse at the Airport to passengers and other Airport patrons, (3) in-flight meals prepared on airport or (after June 30, 2020) at a location outside of Reagan National and Dulles International Airports to airlines operating on the Airports, and (4) a fast food restaurant on Reagan National or Dulles International Airport at a location outside the Airport’s terminals and concourses and pursuant to a concessions contract with the Airports Authority, the solicitation for which is issued within 6 months of January 1, 2020.  These businesses are referred to as “Covered Businesses.” 

The Airport Workers Wage Policy requires Covered Businesses to pay their employees for all work performed on the Airport at an hourly wage rate that is no less than the policy’s “Base Wage Rate” in effect at the time the work is performed.  These Base Wage Rates are the following hourly rates of pay:

  • $11.55 starting on January 1, 2018;
  • $12.15 starting on January 1, 2019;
  • $12.75 starting on January 1, 2020; $13.50 starting on January 1, 2021;
  • $14.25 starting on January 1, 2022; and
  • $15.00 starting on January 1, 2023.

The Board must revisit the Policy and set rates for years beginning January 1, 2024, no later than 6 months prior to January 1, 2024.

In Resolution No. 17-8, the Board of Directors authorized the Airports Authority’s President and Chief Executive Officer to prepare “a set of rules, requirements and procedures for the implementation and administration of the Airport Workers Wage Policy.”  Pursuant to this authorization, on August 22, 2017, the Airports Authority issued Orders & Instructions No. 5-4-1, entitled “Administrative Rules for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Airport Workers Wage Policy.”  This O&I contains the “rules, requirements and procedures” the Airports Authority will use in implementing and administering the Airport Workers Wage Policy. 

The O&I also contains a number of forms that may be useful to Covered Businesses in meeting the requirements of the Airport Workers Wage Policy and the O&I’s administrative rules.  These forms, as well as basic background information regarding the Airport Workers Wage Program, are provided below.

Board of Directors Resolution December 2019 - Revising Airport Workers Wage Policy

Board of Directors Resolution No. 17-8 – Adopting an Airport Workers Wage Policy

Report on Labor Issues of the Board of Directors Ad Hoc Committee on Labor Issues

Order & Instruction No. MWAA 1-4-1A -- Airport Workers Wage Policy

Frequently Asked Questions – Airport Workers Wage Program

Answers to Questions Posed by Covered Businesses


Covered Business Notice to Individual Covered Workers of Airport Workers Wage Program

Covered Business Notice Posted at Airport Work Sites of Airport Workers Wage Program

Covered Business Certification of Quarterly Payroll Report

Covered Business Template for Information Provided in Certified Payroll Report

Covered Business Annual Certified Compliance Statement

Covered Worker Request for Covered Business Employer Review of Wages

Covered Worker Request for Authority Review of Wages

Questions regarding the Airport Workers Wage Program may be submitted to [email protected].


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