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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
FairfaxTransportationAirports Authority mulls regional-jet terminal at Dulles

Airports Authority mulls regional-jet terminal at Dulles

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With a new terminal for regional-jet service opened and effectively completed at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, officials with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority are proposing a similar effort at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Authority leaders are seeking federal funding to support a new concourse at Washington Dulles International Airport to replace outdoor-boarding areas currently used by regional flights, upgrade aircraft-service facilities and bring new conveniences and amenities to passengers.

The proposed “Tier-2 Concourse (East)” would be a 14-gate facility with access to the airport’s underground Aerotrain system and would include new shops, restaurants and other customer services as well as the latest aircraft-servicing technologies to accommodate future needs, officials said.

It would replace gates built in the 1990s at the eastern end of Concourse A, where many regional-flight passengers currently go outdoors to access their planes via covered walkways.

“This new concourse would represent a major improvement in the passenger experience at the regional gates,” said Airports Authority CEO Jack Potter, calling the project “the first step in a long-term strategy to expand and enhance the facilities and services at Dulles International Airport as we look toward the future.”

The Airports Authority has applied for a Federal Aviation Administration grant to help fund the project. The request for $230 million would, if approved, pay for approximately 30 to 40 percent of the costs of a 400,000-square-foot facility. That’s almost four times the existing space for regional-jet passengers.

The Airports Authority is working with United Airlines, the largest carrier serving Dulles, and other airlines in planning the design, funding and construction of the new concourse.

Nathan Lopp, vice president of corporate real estate at United, recognized the “critical importance” of the new infrastructure.

“As the leading airline at Washington Dulles, we strongly encourage the Federal Aviation Administration to approve the Airports Authority’s grant application,” he said in a statement.

The Airports Authority has completed all the necessary studies for the project under the National Environmental Policy Act, making the project “shovel-ready” under guidelines of the FAA grant program, Potter said.

Last year, the Airports Authority opened a new 14-gate concourse for regional flights at Reagan National Airport, which replaced outdoor-boarding areas with spacious new seating areas, concessions and other amenities. The construction program at Reagan National, called Project Journey, also added two large security-screening buildings to provide new services and improve the passenger experience.

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