Later this week, WTOP reports that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Board of Directors will be presented a plan for Reagan National Airport including most notably, moving the National Hall behind security. There certainly is a lot on the MWAA’s plate, between this and Dulles’ continuing agreement with United. Not to mention the Metro connector to Dulles.
The Board of Directors will be presented with a plan to create two glass enclosed security screening areas near the metro bridges, and this will effectively move the security zone that delineates “airside” and “landside” further out, making the National Hall airside.
The idea makes sense and it doesn’t. I can see it making sense because American certainly uses the airport as a hub, and now having flights out of two concourses, it will certainly make connections easier. It further avails more passengers to more of the food and beverage options. It probably hurts a handful of food and beverage operators in the National Hall though, as customers won’t be able to get there without a ticket or gate pass.
There will also be a regional terminal, rather than Gate 35X—a bus terminal for all intents and purposes–which is where regional flights are currently operated out. I see the value of it, but, Reagan National Airport is still a pretty small airport, I’m just not sure whether $408M for a new regional terminal is the best use of resources. Alas, that’s probably why I’m not a decision maker on the Board.
Final Thoughts on Reagan National Airport Changes
As I think back, its not terribly surprising to see this move, but, it is also disappointing. I remember back in College, going to Reagan National Airport to pick up my then girlfriend (now wife) and us grabbing dinner at one of the handful of restaurants off of the Grand Hall. There were even times I’d just take the metro to the airport so I could wander it and do some planespotting.