The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), located in Arlington, VA, is the preferred airport of many D.C. residents, as it’s close by and you don’t necessarily need to take a shuttle to get to it, which is not the case with the Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).
But the downside, for many residents, is that tat Reagan airport doesn’t get as many international flights as Dulles, due to decades long-restrictions that limit the distance of flights in and out of Reagan National Airport at 1,250 miles.
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But now, a bipartisan bill, titled the Direct Capital Access (DCA) Act, put forth by Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) would add 28 daily flights, many of them international and long distance, at Reagan National Airport.
“By limiting the number of flights in and out of National Airport, we are squeezing consumers — they are the ones paying the price,” said Johnson, a senior member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, in a statement.
Many airlines, including Delta (DAL) – Get Free Report, have been pushing for more international flights out of the airport, as part of a group called the Capital Access Alliance. The alliance says the current rules cost passengers an additional $500 million in ticket prices.
The Bill Is Receiving Pushback
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), operates Reagan National and Dulles International Airport, and has stated its opposition to the bill.
“History has shown that relaxing the perimeter and slot rules at Reagan National leads to more noise, delays, congestion and reduction of service to smaller markets,” read a MWAA statement provided to WTOP.
“Reagan National is constrained by limited land, runways and terminal capacity. The region’s sister airport, Dulles International, is growing and ready to welcome additional flights and passengers with nonstop service from across the country and around the world,” MWAA added.