DALLAS – The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is proposing a new concourse at Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) to replace outdoor boarding spaces currently utilized by regional flights, modernize aircraft service facilities, and provide passengers with new conveniences and amenities.
The proposed “Tier-2 Concourse (East)” would be a modern 14-gate facility with easy access to the airport’s subterranean Aerotrain system, additional shops, restaurants, and other customer facilities, and the latest aircraft-servicing technologies to meet future needs. It would replace gates built in the 1990s at Concourse A’s eastern end, where many regional-flight passengers currently use covered pathways to access their planes.
The Airports Authority has submitted for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant under the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes a competitive grant program to help airports improve or replace old facilities, in order to obtain partial funding for the project.
The application requests US$230m to start construction on the 400,000-square-foot complex, which is projected to cost between US$500m and US$800m in total. The Airports Authority is planning the design, funding, and building of the new concourse alongside United Airlines (UA), the main carrier serving IAD, and other airlines.
Comments from Washington Airports Authority, United Airlines
“This new concourse would represent a major improvement in the passenger experience at the regional gates,” said Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter, 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.”
“United recognizes 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.”
For context, in 2021, the Airports Authority opened a new 14-gate concourse for regional flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
The proposed concourse also meets additional criteria of the FAA program, including:
- Improved convenience and connectivity for travelers 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.
Featured image: AID project render. Photo: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority