Press Release

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
1 Aviation Circle - Washington, DC 20001-6000 - (703) 417-8370 - Fax: (703) 417-8371

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Washington Airports Finish 2004 in Growth Trend

Dulles Airport Sees Record Number of Passengers

The Washington area airports experienced robust growth in passenger traffic in 2004. Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airports together served nearly 39 million passengers last year.

A record number of 22.9 million passengers traveled through Dulles Airport in 2004, an increase of 34.9% compared to 2003. Nearly 16 million passengers used Reagan National Airport, a jump of 12.1% over that same time period the prior year. Dulles' 470,000 flight operations were an all-time record.

Said President/CEO James E. Bennett of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, "These numbers demonstrate the strong demand for air service in the Washington region."

The increase in passenger volume at Dulles is largely due to the flights introduced in 2004 by Independence Air and service increases by other airlines. Independence Air began operations at Dulles in June of last year as a regional low-fare airline. United Airlines continued its United Express operation using new regional partners. Independence Air alone added nearly 600 daily flights at the Airport.

The 15.9 million passenger figure was the most that Reagan National has experienced since 1998. Airlines operated nearly 270,000 flights in and out of Reagan National for the first time since 2000.

In 2004, new air service was started from Dulles to the following cities: Austin, Greenbrier, WV, Huntsville/Decatur, Lansing, Memphis, Sacramento, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; and to international cities of Milan, Italy, Cancun, Mexico, San Jose, Costa Rica, Zurich, Switzerland, Guatemala City, Guatemala, and Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

To keep pace with this growth at Dulles, the Airports Authority continued its $3 billion construction program in 2004 by constructing a covered walkway from Garage 2 to the Terminal and opening a new Pedestrian Walkway; providing for the first time direct access via a moving underground sidewalk between the Terminal and Concourse B.

As 2005 begins, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently conducting an environmental review process which is expected to conclude by the end of the year with a recommendation to build the first of two new runways at Dulles. The Airports Authority is also building a new Air Traffic Control Tower at Dulles for the FAA which will provide needed technology and facilities to support the current and anticipated increases in air traffic at the Airport.

A major, nearly $1 billion, project at Dulles continues with the construction of underground stations and tunnels to accommodate the new Airport Train System which will operate beneath the airfield and replace the Mobile Lounges as the primary passenger conveyance system at the Airport.