Washington Dulles International Airport proposes new 14-gate concourse

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has proposed a new 14-gate concourse at Washington Dulles International Airport, which will replace current outdoor boarding areas, expand passenger amenities, and support new jobs.

Washington Dulles International Airport proposes new 14-gate concourse

Credit: Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is proposing a new concourse at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) to replace outdoor boarding areas currently used by regional flights, upgrade aircraft service facilities and bring new conveniences and amenities to passengers.

The proposed ‘Tier-2 Concourse (East)’ would be a modern 14-gate facility with convenient access to the airport’s underground Aerotrain system and would include new shops, restaurants, and other customer services, as well as the latest aircraft-servicing technologies to accommodate future needs. It would replace gates built in the 1990s at the eastern end of Concourse A, where many regional-flight passengers currently go outdoors to access their planes via covered walkways.

“This new concourse would represent a major improvement in the passenger experience at the regional gates,” commented Jack Potter, Airports Authority President and CEO, calling the project, “The first step in a long-term strategy to expand and enhance the facilities and services at Dulles International Airport as we look toward the future.”

To attain partial funding for the project, the Airports Authority has applied for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant under the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes a competitive grant programme to help airports upgrade or replace aging facilities. The application seeks $230 million to begin development of the 400,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to ultimately cost between $500 million and $800 million. The Airports Authority is working with United Airlines, the largest carrier serving Dulles, and other airlines in planning the design, funding and construction of the new concourse.

“United recognises the critical importance this new concourse will serve both as an economic driver and job creator in the region,” said Nathan Lopp, Vice President, Corporate Real Estate. “This state of the art facility will also help deliver a best in class customer experience for our passengers at Dulles, and provide them with more flights to more destinations – the same goals we have for our United Next strategy. As the leading airline at Washington Dulles, we strongly encourage the Federal Aviation Administration to approve MWAA’s grant application.”

Potter added that once the Tier-2 Concourse (East) proposal receives all the necessary approvals for construction and funding, the project would provide hundreds of construction and service jobs, and he also noted that the Airports Authority has completed all the necessary studies for the project under the National Environmental Policy Act, making the project ‘shovel ready’ under guidelines of the FAA grant programme. The proposed concourse also meets additional criteria of the FAA programme, including:

  • Improved convenience and connectivity for passengers navigating the airport

  • More space (400,000 square feet versus 110,000 square feet in the current facility) for larger seating areas, more concessions, airline lounges, ADA-compliant restrooms, and other amenities
  • Larger operational areas for servicing aircraft, handling baggage and other airport and airline support functions, and
  • Enhanced sustainability features, including electric vehicles to service aircraft and carry passengers, increased usage of the electric aerotrain to move passengers to and from the new gates; energy-efficient construction featuring LED lighting, high R-value insulation and high-efficiency climate control systems that will follow LEED Silver building standards.
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