The Airport Reagan National is a Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport which is a public airport located 4.8 KM south of downtown Washington DC in Arlington County Virginia. This Airport was previous known as Washington National, but it was renames Reagan National in 1998 to honor former U.S president Ronald Reagan. This airport is operated by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. In 2010 the airport served 18.1 million passengers. The Airport Reagan National only provides U.S immigrants and customs facilities for corporate jet traffic, the only international flights allowed to land at DCA are those from airports with U.S customs and Border protection preclearance facilities.
The Airport Reagan National construction began in 1940-41 by a company led by John Mc Shain. The western part of the airport was once within a large Virginia plantation, a remnant of which is now inside a historic site located near the airport’s Metrorail station. The eastern part of the airport was constructed in the District of Columbia. The airport opened on June 16, 1941 and in 1945 a law was passed that established the airport was legally within Virginia but under the jurisdiction of the federal government. The runway layout limited due to the location and orientation of the airport has changed little, except for the 1956 closure of fourth east-west runway now used for taxiing and aircraft parking. The terminal building was supplemented by the completion of the North Terminal in 1958 and two were connected in 1961. In 1984 secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole appointed a commission to study transferring National and Dulles Airports from the Federal Aviation Administration to a local entity which could use the airport revenues to finance improvements. On February 6 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a legislation changing the airport’s name from Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to honor the former president on his 87th birthday.
Due to Airport Reagan National proximity to the city and high security facilities, the airport has extra security precautions required by Washington Air Defense Identification Zone that were in place since the airport began operation. Prior to the September 11 attacks in 2001, the most notable security measure was the southbound approach into the airport. Most of central Washington D.C is prohibited airspace up to 18,000 feet. Due to this restriction pilots approaching from the north follow the path of the Potomac River and make a steep turn shortly before landing on the southbound runway. Airport Reagan National has noise restrictions that are some of the most restrictive in the country. The airport is also subjected to a federally-mandated perimeter limitation and may not accommodate nonstop flights to or from cities beyond a 2,010 KM radius, with limited exceptions. The Airport Reagan National has three terminal. Terminal A opened in 1941 and was expanded in 1955 to accommodate more passengers and airlines. This terminal is currently undergoing renovation to restore its original architecture and is expected to be completed in a couple of years. Terminals B and C opened in 1997, replacing a collection of airline-specific terminals built during the 1960s. Terminal B and C offer many different dining options including TGI Friday’s and Cinnabon.
Tips and comments
Airport Reagan National is a modern international airport with best facilities and still under modernization . The airport safer due to restrictions on security and good for passengers.