Washington Dulles International Airport
|Washington Dulles International Airport|
|IATA: IAD – ICAO: KIAD – FAA LID: IAD
– WMO: 72403
|Owner/Operator||Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority|
|Serves||Washington metropolitan area|
|Location||Dulles, Virginia, U.S.|
|Hub for||United Airlines|
|Focus city for||Frontier Airlines |
|Elevation AMSL||313 ft / 95 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Washington Dulles International Airport (IATA: IAD, ICAO: KIAD, FAA LID: IAD) is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles (42 km) west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area, centered on the District of Columbia. The airport is named after John Foster Dulles, the 52nd Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Dulles main terminal is a well-known landmark designed by Eero Saarinen. Operated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Dulles Airport occupies 11,830 acres (47.9 km2) straddling the border of Fairfax County and Loudoun County, Virginia, within the unincorporated communities of Chantilly and Dulles.
Washington Dulles Airport is the busiest airport in the Washington metropolitan area, and second busiest airport in the larger Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area (after BWI Airport) with over 22 million passengers a year, and one of United Airlines' two East Coast hub airports. With nearly all of the international passenger traffic in the Washington-Baltimore region, Dulles is the busiest international airport in the Mid-Atlantic outside of the New York metropolitan area. On a typical day, more than 60,000 passengers pass through Washington Dulles to and from more than 125 destinations around the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Statistics
- 3 Terminals
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Ground transportation
- 6 Incidents and accidents
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
At the end of World War II, growth in aviation and in the Washington metropolitan area led Congress to pass the Washington Airport Act of 1950, providing federal backing for a second airport. After preliminary proposals failed, including one to establish an international airport at what is now Burke Lake Park, the current site was selected by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958. As a result of the selection, the unincorporated community of Willard, which once stood in the airport's current footprint, was demolished.
Design and original construction
The civil engineering firm Ammann and Whitney was named lead contractor. The airport was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy on November 17, 1962. Its original name, Dulles International Airport, was changed in 1984 to Washington Dulles International Airport. The main terminal was designed in 1958 by famed Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and it is highly regarded for its graceful beauty, suggestive of flight. In the 1990s, the main terminal at Dulles was reconfigured to allow more space between the front of the building and the ticket counters. Additions at both ends of the main terminal more than doubled the structure's length. The original terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan, Taiwan was modeled after the Saarinen terminal at Dulles.
The design included a landscaped man-made lake to collect rainwater, a low-rise hotel, and a row of office buildings along the north side of the main parking lot. The design also included a two-level road in front of the terminal to separate arrival and departure traffic and a federally owned limited access highway connecting the terminal to the Capital Beltway (I-495) about 17 miles (27 km) to the east. (Eventually, the highway system grew to include a parallel toll road to handle commuter traffic and an extension to connect to I-66). The access road had a wide median strip to allow the construction of a passenger rail line, which will be in the form of an extension of the Washington Metro and is expected to be completed in 2018.
Notable operations and milestones
- The first scheduled flight at Dulles was an Eastern Air Lines Super Electra turboprop from Newark International Airport in New Jersey on November 19, 1962.
- Dulles was initially considered a white elephant, being far out of town with few flights; in 1965 Dulles averaged 89 airline operations a day while Reagan National Airport averaged 600 despite not allowing jets. (Dulles got its first transatlantic nonstop in June 1964.) Airport operations grew along with Virginia suburbs and the Dulles Technology Corridor; perimeter and slot restrictions at Washington National Airport forced long-distance flights to use Dulles. In 1969 Dulles had 2.01 million passengers while National had 9.9 million.
- The era of jumbo jets began on January 15, 1970 when First Lady Pat Nixon christened a Pan Am Boeing 747 at Dulles in the presence of Pan Am chairman Najeeb Halaby. Rather than a traditional champagne bottle, red, white, and blue water was sprayed on the aircraft. Pan Am's first Boeing 747 flight was Dulles to London Heathrow Airport.
- On May 24, 1976 supersonic flights between Dulles and Europe began with the arrival of a British Airways Concorde from London and an Air France Concorde from Paris. The two were lined nose-to-nose at Dulles for photos.
- On June 12, 1983 the Space Shuttle Enterprise arrived at Dulles mounted on top of a modified Boeing 747 after touring Europe and before returning to Edwards Air Force Base. Two years later Enterprise returned and was placed in a storage hangar near Runway 12/30 to await the construction of a planned expansion to the National Air and Space Museum. Enterprise left Dulles on April 27, 2012, for its new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.
- In 1990 a United States Senate joint resolution to change the name of Washington Dulles to Washington Eisenhower was proposed by Senator Bob Dole, but didn't pass.
- When the SR-71 was retired by the military in 1990, one was flown from its birthplace at United States Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California to Dulles, setting a coast-to-coast speed record at an average 2,124 mph (3,418 km/h). The trip took 64 minutes. The aircraft was placed in a storage building to await display.
- The first flight of the Boeing 777 in commercial service, a United Airlines flight from London Heathrow, landed at Dulles in 1995.
- In December 2003 the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum officially opened the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles. The museum annex houses an Air France Concorde; the Enola Gay B-29; the Space Shuttle Discovery; the Boeing 367–80, which was the prototype of the Boeing 707; the SR-71; and other famous aerospace artifacts, particularly those too large for the main building on the National Mall.
- The 2004 launch of low-cost carrier Independence Air propelled IAD from being the 24th-busiest airport in the United States to fourth, and one of the top 30 busiest in the world. Independence Air ceased operations in January 2006, and its space in Concourse A was taken five months later by United Express.
- Southwest Airlines began service at Dulles in fall 2006. In 2007, 24.7 million passengers passed through the airport.
- On June 6, 2011 Air France began Airbus A380 flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Washington Dulles.
- On April 17, 2012 the Space Shuttle Discovery was ferried to Dulles mounted to a NASA 747-100 as part of its decommissioning and installation in the Udvar-Hazy Center].
- On June 1, 2012 the first passenger flight of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental landed as Lufthansa Flight 416 from Frankfurt Airport.
- On August 15, 2012, Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrived at Dulles.
By the 1980s, the original design, which had mobile lounges meet each plane, was no longer well-suited to Dulles' role as a hub airport. Instead, midfield concourses were added to allow passengers to walk between connecting flights without visiting the main terminal. Mobile lounges were still used for international flights and to transport passengers between the midfield concourses and the main terminal. An underground tunnel (consisting of a passenger walkway and moving sidewalks) which links the main terminal and Concourse B was opened in 2004. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) began a renovation program for the airport including a new security mezzanine with more room for lines.
A new train system, dubbed AeroTrain and developed by Mitsubishi, began in 2010 to transport passengers between the concourses and the main terminal. The system, which uses rubber tires and travels along a fixed underground guideway, is similar to the people mover systems at Singapore Changi Airport, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Denver International Airport. The train is intended to replace the mobile lounges, which many passengers found crowded and inconvenient. The initial phase includes the main terminal station, a permanent Concourse A station, a permanent Concourse B station, a permanent midfield concourse station (with access to the current temporary C concourse via a tunnel with moving walkways), and a maintenance facility. Mobile lounges continue to service the D Concourse from both the main terminal and Concourse A. Even after AeroTrain is built out and the replacement Concourses C and D are built, the mobile lounges and plane mates will still continue to be used, to transport international arriving passengers to the International Arrivals Building, as well as transport passengers to aircraft parked on hardstands without direct access to jet bridges. Dulles has stated that the wait time for a train does not exceed four minutes, compared to the average 15-minute wait and travel time for mobile lounges.
Under the development plan, future phases would see the addition of several new midfield concourses and a new south terminal. A fourth runway (parallel to the existing runways 1 and 19 L&R) opened in 2008, and development plans include a fifth runway to parallel the existing runway 12–30. If this runway is built, the current runway will be redesignated as 12L-30R while the new runway will be designated 12R-30L. An expansion of the B concourse, used by many low cost airlines as well as international arrivals, has been completed, and the building housing Concourses C and D will eventually be knocked down to make room for a more ergonomic building. Because Concourses C and D are temporary concourses, the only way to get to those concourses is via moving walkway from the Concourse C station which is built in the location of the future gates and Concourse D by mobile lounge from the main terminal.
Dulles is one of two East Coast hubs for United Airlines (the other being Newark Liberty International Airport), and serves as one of United's two transatlantic gateways. United handled 65.2% of scheduled air carrier passengers at the airport in 2013. JetBlue Airways handled 1.7% of scheduled air carrier passengers. American Airlines is the airport's third largest carrier in tickets sold and handled: 4%. In addition, 25 foreign carriers have service in and out of Washington Dulles. On a typical day, Dulles averages 1,000 to 1,200 flight operations. Dulles International served 22.6 million passengers in 2012, a 2.8% decrease over 2011. However, international passenger traffic has increased by 2.0% during the same time. Additional international service is commencing service at Washington Dulles. With 43 weekly flights, Dulles is now the second largest United States gateway to the Middle East. Even before the United States economic recession started, international passengers have continued to grow, which prompted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to expand the international arrivals building to handle 2,400 passengers per hour.
|1||London (Heathrow), United Kingdom||902,878||British Airways, United, Virgin Atlantic|
|2||Frankfurt, Germany||595,546||Lufthansa, United|
|3||Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France||446,332||Air France, United|
|4||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||347,247||Emirates, United|
|5||Tokyo (Narita), Japan||279,915||All Nippon Airways, United|
|6||Amsterdam, Netherlands||267,681||KLM, United|
|7||San Salvador, El Salvador||267,061||Avianca, United|
|8||Munich, Germany||241,541||Lufthansa, United|
|9||Brussels, Belgium||195,476||Brussels Airlines, United|
|10||Doha, Qatar||187,874||Qatar Airways|
|1||Los Angeles, California||599,000||American, United, Virgin America|
|2||San Francisco, California||554,000||United, Virgin America|
|3||Denver, Colorado||467,000||Southwest, United|
|4||Atlanta, Georgia||320,000||Delta, United|
|5||Boston, Massachusetts||262,000||JetBlue, United|
|6||Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois||257,000||United|
|7||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||221,000||American, United|
|8||Charlotte, North Carolina||209,000||United, US Airways|
|9||Orlando, Florida||199,000||JetBlue, United|
|10||Chicago (Midway), Illinois||188,000||Southwest|
|2||ExpressJet Airlines (Delta Connection, United Express)||2,302,142|
|3||Mesa Airlines (United Express, US Airways Express)||1,151,729|
|6||Trans States Airlines (United Express)||562,322|
|8||Delta Air Lines||513,033|
The airport's terminal complex consists of a main terminal and two midfield terminal buildings: Concourses A/B and C/D. The entire terminal complex has 123 gates and 16 hardstand locations from which passengers can board or disembark using the airport's plane mate vehicles.
Conceived in early planning sessions in 1959, Dulles is one of the few remaining airports to use the mobile lounge (also known as "plane mates" or "people movers") for boarding and disembarkation from aircraft, and to transfer passengers between the midfield concourses and to and from the main terminal building. They have all been given names based on the postal abbreviations of 50 states, e.g.: VA, MD, AK.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has begun to gradually phase out the mobile lounge system for inter-terminal passenger movements in favor of the AeroTrain, an underground people mover which currently operates to Concourses A, B and C, and underground pedestrian walkway tunnels (now in service to concourse A/B). The mobile lounges are still used to transport passengers directly from the main terminal to Concourse D. Plane mates also remain in use to disembark international passengers and carry them to the International Arrivals Building, as well as to convey passengers to and from aircraft on hard stand (i.e., those parked remotely on the apron without access to jet bridges).
The iconic main terminal (which houses ticketing, baggage claim, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Z gates, and other support facilities) was recognized by the American Institute of Architects in 1966 for its design concept; its roof is a suspended catenary providing a wide enclosed area unimpeded by any columns. It houses ticketing, baggage claim, and information facilities, as well as the International Arrivals Building for passenger processing.
The main terminal was extended in 1996 to 1,240 feet (380 m)—Saarinen's original design length—which was slightly more than double its originally constructed length of 600 feet (180 m). In addition, an extension for international arrivals was added to the west of the main terminal in 1991. On September 22, 2009, an expansion of the international arrivals building opened which includes a 41,400 square feet (3,850 m2) arrival hall for customs and immigration processing. The new facility has the capacity to process 2,400 arriving passengers per hour.
In September 2009, a 121,700 square feet (11,310 m2) central Transportation Security Administration checkpoint was added on a new security mezzanine level of the main terminal. This checkpoint replaced previous checkpoints located behind the ticketing areas. A separate security checkpoint is available on the baggage claim level. Both security checkpoints connect to the new AeroTrain, which links the main terminal with the A, B, and C concourses.
There are two sets of gates in the main terminal: the "H" Gates, which are waiting areas for airlines which lack permanent physical gates and therefore use plane mates to reach planes parked at 16 hard-stand locations, and the "Z" Gates (with 4 gates), which provides service for Frontier Airlines (as of August 19, 2014).
There are two midfield terminal buildings at Dulles: one contains the A and B midfield concourses, the other the C and D midfield concourses.
Concourses A and B
All non-United flights operate out of these two concourses. Concourse A (which has 47 gates) consists of a permanent ground level set of gates designed for small planes such as regional jets and several former B concourse gates. The concourse is primarily used for international flights. Air France operates an airline lounge opposite gate A22, Ethiad Airways operates a First and Business Class lounge across from gate A15, Virgin Atlantic has a Clubhouse lounge across from gate A32. Concourse A's AeroTrain station is located halfway along the horizontal length of the building, between gates A6 and A14.
Concourse B (which has 28 gates) is the first of the permanent elevated midfield concourses. Originally constructed in 1998 and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, the B concourse contained 20 gates. In 2003, 4 additional gates were added to concourse B, followed by a 15-gate expansion in 2008. It is connected to the main terminal by an underground walkway in addition to the AeroTrain station located between gates B51 and B62. Concourse B is used by some international carriers, and is also utilized by all non-United domestic and Canada flights. The facility also includes a British Airways Galleries lounge and a Lufthansa Senator lounge.
Concourses C and D
The C and D concourses are exclusively used for United Airlines flights, as well as most United Express operations (some United Express operations use Concourse A). They were completed in 1983 and designed by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum. The two concourses have 22 gates each, numbered C1-C28 and D1-D32, with odd-numbered gates on the north side of the building and even numbered gates on the south side. The C/D concourses were given a face lift in 2006 which included light fixture upgrades, new paint finishes, new ceiling grids and tiles, heating and air conditioning replacement, and complete restroom renovations. Concourse C also has a dedicated Federal Inspection Station at ground level. International United flights therefore deplane passengers via jetbridge at Concourse C, and subsequently passengers ending their journey at Dulles can ride a mobile lounge to the International Arrivals Building at the main terminal while passengers connecting to further domestic or international flights clear U.S. Customs and Immigration at the FIS station. Since this immigration facility is only for connecting passengers on United and other Star Alliance carriers, it has shorter lines and passengers don't have to reclear security at the massive security checkpoints in the main terminal.
There are three United Clubs in the facility: one next to Gate C7, one next to gate C17, and one next to gate D8. Concourse C also has a United International First Lounge near gate C2.
A new and permanent C/D concourse (also called "Tier 2") is planned as part of the D2 Dulles Development Project. The new building is to include a three-level structure with 44 airline gates and similar amenities to Concourse B. The concourse plan includes a dedicated mezzanine corridor with moving sidewalks to serve international passengers. The design and construction of the new C/D concourse has not been scheduled.
Airlines and destinations
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2014)|
- Note: All domestic flights, as well as flights from airports with U.S. border preclearance are serviced directly at the concourses. All other flights are processed through the International Arrivals Building (IAB) while international United Airlines flights are processed through the Concourse C Federal Inspection Station (FIS) for connecting passengers.
^1 Ethiopian Airlines' flight from Addis Ababa to Dulles stops at Rome-Fiumicino, but the flight from Dulles to Addis Ababa is nonstop.
Since many major domestic and international airlines have a large presence at Washington Dulles, there are several airline lounges in active operation there.
- Air France: Air France Lounge, A Concourse across from gate A22.
- British Airways: Galleries Club and Galleries First lounges, each with their own separate dining rooms, B Concourse.
- Etihad Airways: First and Business class lounge located opposite gate A15.
- Lufthansa: Senator Lounge and Business Lounge, B Concourse at gate B51.
- United Airlines: Two United Clubs in Concourse C and one on Concourse D. There is also a United International First Lounge on Concourse C.
- Virgin Atlantic: Clubhouse, A Concourse across from gate A32
|FedEx Express||Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Memphis, Newark|
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
|UPS Airlines||Louisville, Richmond|
Dulles is accessible via the Dulles Access Road/Dulles Greenway (State Route 267) and State Route 28. The Dulles Airport Access Highway (DAAH) is a toll-free, limited access, highway owned by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to facilitate car access to Dulles from the Washington Capital Beltway and Interstate 66. After it opened, non-airport traffic between Washington and Reston became so heavy that a parallel set of toll lanes were added on the same right-of-way to accommodate non-airport traffic (Dulles Toll Road). However, the airport-only lanes are both less congested as well as toll-free. As of November 1, 2008, MWAA assumed responsibility from the Virginia Department of Transportation both for operating the Dulles Toll Road and for the construction of a rapid transit rail line down its median. Route 28, which runs north–south along the eastern edge of the airport, has been upgraded to a limited access highway, with the interchanges financed through a property tax surcharge on nearby business properties. The Dulles Toll Road has been extended to the west to Leesburg as the Dulles Greenway.
Fairfax Connector routes 981 and 983 serve Dulles, connecting to the Herndon–Monroe park & ride lot in Herndon, the Reston Town Center transit in Reston, the Wiehle – Reston East Metro station, and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum.
As of 2014[update], the only Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority service to Dulles is the "Express" 5A Metrobus route. The 5A express bus makes two stops on its way from the airport to downtown Washington. Stops include the Herndon–Monroe park & ride lot in Herndon and the Rosslyn Metro station in Arlington. It terminates at the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station in Southwest DC. Both metro stations can be accessed by the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines, while the latter can also be accessed by the Yellow and Green lines.
An alternative (but slightly more expensive) way of reaching Dulles is the Washington Flyer Coach bus service that operates roughly every twenty minutes between the airport and the Wiehle – Reston East Metro station. Washington Flyer service will be permanently discontinued when Phase II of the Silver Line opens in 2018.
Loudoun County Transit provides a bus service which runs from the Dulles Town Center shopping center, to the airport, then to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum but will end September 1 2014.
Passengers connecting to the Shenandoah Valley can use the Shenandoah Valley Commuter Bus, which connects to the Vienna and Rosslyn Metro stations. Taxis and SuperShuttle ride sharing vans are also available.
Construction is now underway to connect the airport to Washington via the Silver Line of the Washington Metro. While initial plans called for completion of the station in 2016, officials now expect the construction to be completed in 2018.
Incidents and accidents
- On May 29, 1972, the pilot of a Kite Rider (a variety of hang glider) was killed in a crash. This was during day 3 of a 9-day Air Show held at Dulles in conjunction with Transpo '72 (officially called the U.S. International Transportation Exposition, a $10 million event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and attended by over one million visitors from around the world). This was to be the first of three air deaths during the Air Show.
- On June 3, 1972, a second death occurred at the Transpo '72 Air Show, during a sport plane pylon race. At 2:40 pm, during the second lap and near a turn about pylon 3, a trailing aircraft's (LOWERS R-1 N66AN) wing and propeller hit the right wing tip of a leading aircraft (CASSUTT BARTH N7017). The right wing immediately sheared off the fuselage, and the damaged aircraft crashed almost instantly, killing the 29-year-old pilot, Hugh C. Alexander of Louisville, Georgia, U.S. He was a professional Air Racer with over 10,200 hours. This was to be the second of three air deaths during the Air Show.
- On June 4, 1972, during the last day of the 9-day Transpo '72 Air Show, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds experienced their first fatal crash at an air show. Major Joe Howard flying Thunderbird 3 was killed at Dulles when his F-4E-32-MC Phantom II, 66-0321, experienced a loss of power during a vertical maneuver. The pilot broke out of formation just after he completed a wedge roll and was ascending at around 2,500 feet AGL. The aircraft staggered and descended in a flat attitude with little forward speed. Although Major Howard ejected as the aircraft fell back to earth from about 1,500 feet (460 m) tail first, and descended under a good canopy, winds blew him into the fireball ascending from the blazing crash site. The parachute melted and the pilot plummeted 200 feet, sustaining fatal injuries. This was to be the third of three air deaths during the Air Show.
- On December 1, 1974, a flight diverted to Dulles, TWA Flight 514, crashed onto the western slope of Mount Weather. All 85 passengers and 7 crew members were killed on impact.
- On June 18, 1994, a Learjet 25 operated by Mexican carrier TAESA crashed in trees while approaching the airport from the south. Twelve people died. The passengers were planning to attend the 1994 FIFA World Cup soccer games being staged in Washington, D.C.
- On June 14, 1979, the number 5 and 6 tires on an Air France Concorde blew out during a take-off from Washington Dulles Airport. Shrapnel thrown from the tires and rims damaged number 2 engine, punctured three fuel tanks, severed several hydraulic lines and electrical wires, in addition to tearing a large hole on the top of the wing, over the wheel well area.
- On July 21, 1979, another blown tire incident involving an Air France Concorde occurred during take-off from Washington Dulles Airport. After that second incident the "French director general of civil aviation issued an air worthiness directive and Air France issued a Technical Information Update, each calling for revised procedures. These included required inspection of each wheel/tire for condition, pressure and temperature prior to each take-off. In addition, crews were advised that landing gear should not be raised when a wheel/tire problem is suspected."
- In 2001, American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, left gate D26 at Dulles en route to Los Angeles International Airport, but it was hijacked and deliberately crashed into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks.
- Busiest airports in the United States by international passenger traffic
- List of thin shell structures
- Thin-shell structure
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- "Metro to Open in 2013". Washington Examiner (Washington Examiner). February 19, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
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- "NTSB Aviation Query NYC72AN147 N66AN".
- "NTSB Aviation Query NYC72AN147 N7017".
- USAF Aircraft Accidents – Life Sciences Aspects, April–June 1972, Directorate of Aerospace Safety, Air Force Inspection and Safety Center, Norton AFB, California, pages 59–60.
- Shaw, Adam (1977). Sound of Impact: The Legacy of TWA Flight 514. New York, NY: Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-65840-5.
- "Safety Recommendation". National Transportation Safety Board. April 3, 1995. Retrieved June 3, 2011.[dead link]
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- "Flight Path Study – American Airlines Flight 77" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. February 19, 2002.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Washington Dulles International Airport.|
- Official website
- Official Dulles Food and Shops Concessions website
- Footage of the Dedication of Dulles International Airport in 1962
- openNav: IAD / KIAD charts
- (PDF), effective July 24, 2014
- Resources for this airport: