Both Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International Airports are public buildings operated by the Airports Authority. Media may film, tape, or photograph in publicly accessible areas, including but not limited to lobbies, parking lots and garages, roadways, the media pad at Dulles, terraces at Reagan National, hallways adjacent to concessions and other common use areas. Only ticketed passengers may proceed through security. It is not a practice of the Airports Authority to issue gate passes or escort the media through or beyond the TSA security checkpoint.
For information about parking a live truck, please visit the Media Access to Airports page.
General Requirements for All Media Crew Members in Public Areas of Both Airports
Media may be asked to relocate or leave the airport for failure to follow these requirements:
- Please contact the Public Affairs Office prior to your arrival at 703-417-8370.
- Visibly display your official press identification.
- Space at the airports is first-come, first-served.
- Do not block fire emergency escape routes and/or fire emergency exits.
- Do not interfere with any entrance, exit, escalator, ticket counter, taxi staging area, taxi pickup, passenger check in, security checkpoint, or baggage carousel.
- Do not interfere with TSA, airline or airport operations.
- Ticket counter and gate areas are leased by the airlines, and airlines must give permission for filming/photography in their leased space.
- Shops and restaurants are leased space, and the managers must give permission to media to enter their areas.
- The security screening areas are operated through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). For media access to the screening area equipment or TSA employees, you must obtain approval from TSA Public Affairs.
Media Standups Near TSA Checkpoints
Media crews must not interfere with airport operations or passenger flow. Below is a map of preferred locations at DCA with Terminal B/C TSA checkpoints in the background.
At Dulles, the two main security screening mezzanines are separated from public space and operated by TSA. Access to that space requires permission from TSA and escort, so standup opportunities with TSA views are generally not feasible unless Media Relations staff is onsite.
Media Standups at DCA During Project Journey Construction
Media standup areas on the Ticketing level of Reagan National have been reduced during Project Journey with the setup of construction staging areas, including one inside Door 6 near American Airlines:
Airfield access is rarely granted and strictly controlled. Requests for filming in the aircraft movement areas and near the aprons will be handled by the Media Relations Office on a case-by-case basis. Prior notification is essential to ensure adequate staffing exists to perform escort duties. Requests for access will be accommodated to the extent manpower and operational considerations permit. In the event of an emergency situation or other event that requires the full attention of the Airport Operations staff, a prearranged escort may be canceled.
Best Places to View Aircraft Operations
- Outdoor North Terrace and South Terrace adjacent to Terminal B/C on the Departures (Ticketing) level
- Gravelly Point Park on the Northbound George Washington Parkway (contact National Park Service for more information)
- Top level of Garage #1 or #2
- Media Pad in front of the Main Terminal, Departures (Ticketing) level
If a criminal investigation is underway, approved filming locations will be the coordinated through Airports Authority Police Department Officers on the scene by the Media Relations Office representative serving as Public Information Officer (PIO). Similarly, approved filming locations of accidents or disasters will be coordinated through the Incident Commander by the PIO.