Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is a bustling airport in Dulles, Va., just 26 miles from Washington, D.C.’s downtown core. More than 23 million passengers travel through IAD, making it the 28th busiest airport in the nation. Established in 1962, the 11,830-acre airport has seen several rounds of renovations and improvement projects over the decades. Its most recent $3.4 billion D2 Dulles Development capital construction program expanded some concourses, built two new parking garages and constructed a new permanent Gate Z.
Five runways handles IAD’s considerable daily traffic. The airport’s Main Terminal building is 1.1 million square feet that leads to five concourses: Concourses A, B, C, D and Z. The concourses offer a total of 135 gates. Gates are accessed via the airport’s new AeroTrains, its 19 Mobile Lounges or its 30 Plane Mates. A new 1,000-foot walkway enables travelers to access Concourse B via moving sidewalks in addition to existing Mobile Lounges.
International flights use the airport’s International Arrivals Building or a secured space in Concourse C to process international travelers. The International Arrivals Building houses U.S. Customs, Immigration, and Agricultural offices.
In addition to passenger travel, IAD sees a fair amount of cargo and freight activity at its seven air cargo buildings. The buildings provide 540,000 square feet of freight processing space while the airport’s two large fixed base operators provide needed services to most of IAD’s airlines.
To help guide travelers to various parts of the airport, yellow-clad student volunteers are available throughout IAD. The volunteer high school and college students are recognizable for their bright yellow shirts and large “May I Help You?” buttons.
Passengers have plenty of options to while away the time between or before flights at any of the airport’s 100-plus shops and restaurants. Concourse B alone has 13,000 square feet of retail space. Combined, all of IAD’s shops, restaurants, and coffee bars consume more than 50,000 square feet of space, giving travelers a variety of choices and locations.
Additional entertainment is found in the airport’s extensive public arts program, including a performing arts program that offers live singing and dancing. IAD also houses a number of temporary and rotating art exhibits throughout its terminal and in the Gateway Gallery near Concourse C. Permanent public art installations include a human-powered airplane suspended above the airport’s C Gates and four immense lenses positioned below the skylights of the International Arrivals Building.
For travelers who want a few minutes of peaceful reflection or prayer, the airport houses a 24-hour interfaith chapel on Concourse A. Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim services are held there throughout the week.
A variety of services are available at the airport for military personnel and their families at the USO lounge in the Main Terminal across from the No. 12 baggage claim area. The lounge provides a kitchen and many of the comforts of home.
Parking at Washington Dulles Airport
IAD provides 24,000 parking spaces at its two daily garages, four economy lots, an hourly lot in front of the Main Terminal and a cell phone waiting lot. Parking attendants and the Pay and Go kiosks accept most major credit cards. Complimentary shuttles transport passengers between the daily/economy lots and the main terminal.
Disabled parking is available in the hourly lot, daily garage 1, daily garage 2, and in the blue, green, and gold economy lots. Vehicles using the designated disabled parking spaces must have the appropriate placards or license plates. Complimentary shuttles are equipped with wheelchair lifts.
Electric vehicle charging stations are contained in the Daily Parking Garage #2 on the third level. Use of the charging stations is complimentary but regular parking fees apply.
Airlines Serving Dulles
With its East Coast hub stationed at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), United Airlines is the busiest airline at the airport. The airline serves more than six million passengers at IAD, earning it nearly 40 percent of the airport’s passenger market share. United flies to nine of the airport’s top 10 domestic destinations: Los Angeles, California; San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Orlando, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. The airline also offers flights to eight of IAD’s top 10 international destinations: London; Frankfurt, Germany; Paris; Tokyo; Amsterdam; Munich; Toronto and Sao Paolo. The carrier uses IAD’s Concourses C and D. Concourse C has designated space to process international travelers who are using United to connect to domestic destinations.
ExpressJet is the airport’s second busiest passenger carrier, with 1.4 million passengers each year. The airline’s United Express operation bases its Southeast hub at IAD. The airline’s 10 percent market share is serviced by Delta Connection and United Express. Through Delta Connect, ExpressJet flies to Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Detroit out of Concourse B. The airline’s United Express flights travel to four dozen North American destinations using Concourses A, C and D.
Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines serves more than one million IAD passengers each year through United Express. The airline operates one of its two hubs at IAD, stationing many of its Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft there. Traveling to and from 24 U.S. towns, Mesa Airlines/United Express uses Concourses A, C and D.
American Airlines, IAD’s fourth largest airline, travels to the airport’s top domestic destination, Los Angeles, as well as Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami. American flies 800,000 passengers annually at IAD using Concourse B.
Rounding out IAD’s top five airlines is JetBlue Airways, with 782,000 IAD passengers each year. That volume of passengers translates into just over five percent of the airport’s passenger market share. JetBlue travels to Boston; Long Beach, California; and New York’s JFK Airport. Seasonally, the airline also schedules flights to Oakland International Airport. JetBlue flights are boarded on Concourse B.
Thirty-four percent of the airport’s passengers use a variety of other airlines to travel to the airport’s 132 domestic and international destinations. Southwest Airlines and Virgin America both conduct significant activity at IAD, each serving about half a million passengers a year. Both airlines use Concourse B. International airlines that carry a large number of passengers each year include British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic.