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Reagan National Airport: Capacity to Handle Additional Flights and Impact on Other Area Airports
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    NTL-AVIATION-Airports and Facilities ; NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Planning and Policy ; NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness ; NTL-ECONOMICS AND FINANCE-Economic Impacts ; NTL-LAWS AND REGULATIONS-Federal Laws ; NTL-LAWS AND REGULATIONS-Federal Standards and Rules ;
  • Abstract:
    Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Reagan National) is subject to both the federal high-density rule, which controls the number of takeoffs and landings that may occur each day within hourly time periods, and the perimeter rule, which limits the distance of nonstop flights that can serve an airport. Several legislative proposals currently before the Congress address these slot and perimeter restrictions by allowing additional flights at Reagan National. However, questions have been raised about the impact of adding flights and extending the perimeter at Reagan National on the operations at the other two airports in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area - Washington Dulles International (Dulles) and Baltimore/Washington International (BWI). To examine the potential impact of these proposals on Dulles and BWI, the General Accounting Office (GAO) (1) described the most prominent proposals that would allow an increased number of takeoffs and landings at Reagan National and create exemptions to the perimeter rule, (2) examined the extent to which Reagan National could safely accommodate more takeoffs and landings, and (3) analyzed whether adding flights at Reagan National to and from destinations beyond the current perimeter would cause passengers to shift their travel from Dulles to BWI. Briefly, the results indicate the following: To improve the access that various communities have to Washington, D.C., and to increase competition in some of those markets, three major legislative proposals introduced during 1999 would provide exemptions to the number of commercial jet flights allowed at Reagan National. These proposals would add between 6 and 36 jet flights per day. In addition, two of the proposals would permit flights to destinations beyond the existing 1,250-mile (2011 km)perimeter. These two bills also contain provisions that would require reviews of whether the additional flights affect noise, safety, and the environment around Reagan National. According to an analysis by the Department of Transportation (DOT), Reagan National could accommodate up to seven additional flights per hour without compromising safety. According to the GAO's analysis of the impact of four new airlines on competition among the area's airports, adding nonstop flights from Reagan National to destinations beyond the existing 1,250-mile (2011 km) perimeter would likely cause only a limited number of passengers to switch from BWI or Dulles to Reagan National. 2 Tables, 8 figures, 6 appendices. 64p.

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