Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority leaders on Oct. 20 took a victory lap of sorts, reliving the glories of a week before marking progress in facilities at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Changes that have come to the airport, and others still on the way, “will substantially improve [the] customer experience,” said authority CEO Jack Potter.
Transportation and political leaders from the regional, state and national levels had descended on Reagan National Oct. 13 to celebrate progress on “Project Journey,” the billion-dollar plan that represents the biggest capital project at the airport since construction of the Terminal B/C complex a quarter-century ago.
The initiative has included a new pier for regional jets that made its debut earlier in the year, along with new passenger-screening facilities slated to open Nov. 9. At that point, most of the project will be in the rear-view mirror.
But not quite all.
“We still have work to be done . . . over several more months,” Potter said. Those efforts include dismantling the existing Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, which will no longer be needed; revamping transportation routes around the exterior of the airport; and miscellaneous efforts to tie up loose ends.
Potter praised staff, contractors and airlines using the facilities, who “always made sure construction activities co-existed” with passengers who needed to wend their way to and from gates.
“Everyone worked together to transform the passenger experience,” Potter said, adding that with passenger counts likely to be significant during the holiday period, “these new facilities couldn’t have come at a better time.”