Serious construction work is expected to begin in a matter of weeks on a $1 billion transformation of Washington Reagan National Airport – including construction of a new passenger concourse.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) last week released a new video showcasing that new concourse, which will handle commuter flights at the crowded airport. The new concourse won’t be ready until 2021, but it will eliminate the need for travelers to take buses to parked regional aircraft from DCA’s busy Gate 35X in Terminal C, which handles some 1.2 million passengers a year.
“The concourse will provide regional travelers with direct, enclosed access to planes via jet bridges, spacious waiting and boarding areas, diverse seating options with integrated power outlets and new concessions,” MWAA said. “The concourse design includes architectural features consistent with the Terminal B/C’s exposed metal beams, glass walls and domed ceilings while maximizing open, navigable gate areas and panoramic views of downtown Washington D.C.”
The new 14-gate concourse – located on the airport’s northern end next to Terminals B and C — will cost the airports authority its current headquarters building, which will be demolished to make way for the commuter facility.
The massive improvement effort at the airport, called Project Journey, also calls for two new security checkpoints that will be built above the arrivals roadway for Terminals B/C, and will be connected to National Hall and linked by walkways to parking garages and the airport’s Metrorail station. That piece will increase the number of security lanes from the current 20 to 28. The new security checkpoints are due to open in 2020.
Officials said the work will have some impact on traffic flow along airport roadways, but they will schedule most of the work for nighttime hours to minimize inconvenience for travelers.
DCA last year handled more than 23 million passengers – about 50 percent more than its intended capacity, and more than the number that used Washington Dulles Airport, which is many times the size of National.
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