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Will DCA Ever Open Again?  
User currently offlineBigo747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1326 times:

DCA is only 3.6 miles from Pennsylvania Ave. Wouldn't it be almost impossible to shoot down a plane originating from DCA? Will this airport ever be safe to operate again?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAWA22 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1246 times:

I am sure it will eventually reopen.

User currently offlineN202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1562 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1232 times:

DCA will reopen when the rest of the airports in the Washington metro area reopen. You can bank on *that*.

User currently offlineContrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1190 times:

I'm not sure it will open anytime soon, and I can see a scenario where it would be closed or its flights drastically cut back.

DCA is only blocks from the Pentagon, and less than 2 miles from any government building in DC. The FAA, in its reaction to Sept. 11, is performing surgery on our air system, and they may cut deeper than most people are expecting.

Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29799 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1162 times:

No. It will open again..

The FAA is only going to cut as much untill the public begins to notice the inconvience and complain. This process may take longer in this case but it will happen.

And Reagan National is way way to convient for members of congress to leave town.

User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11322 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1104 times:

Before the new terminal was built, the military was quite adamant about the closing of DCA because the proximity to the Pentagon. Remember back to the crash of Palm 90 into the Potomac. That event occurred very close to where the Pentagon sits, and that wasn't an act of malice. As events of this week have proven, the Pentagon is possibly more vulnerable because you expect planes to be in the area where this hijacked plane was due to the fact that there is an airport nearby.

The current news is that DCA will not open just yet when the other airports open. Honestly, I would not be surprised if the airport does get closed down permanently in the future as a result of this.

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User currently offlineCo/ba From United States of America, joined May 2001, 399 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 days ago) and read 1065 times:

L-188 "And Reagan National is way way to convient for members of congress to leave town."
They don't want to have drive to IAD or BWI.

User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1020 times:

As just about every US airport *except* DCA has now been recertified, I think the reason that DCA hasn't seems pretty clear. No, it's not because passengers would get a sobering look at the side of the Pentagon.

Quite simply, and this is only my own humble opinion, I don't think DCA will reopen anytime soon (if ever) due to its proximity to P-56 and all the other airspace over sensitive and public landmarks in the immediate DC area. If an aircraft were to be hijacked while DCA is landing to the north, any overfly of the DCA airport would happen so quickly that the aircraft would be hitting someplace before anyone could respond. It'd be one thing to see an aircraft on approach to runway 1 veer off, as a clue, but the situation would be all the more difficult to ascertain should a flight be approaching runway 19, already jinking down the river on the visual approach. Should they jink *left* at the last minute, and not *right*, it's the same story--they've impacted before a response can be effected.

One "solution" I've heard proposed on a radio call-in show was for the military to have helos orbiting in the area, armed and prepared to down any straying aircraft. Notwithstanding the military's ability to get off a couple of quick IR-guided missles (and assure they hit and down the aircraft in a timely fashion), I seriously doubt the government would want to be in the potential position of having to defend the downing of an innocent airliner that was just a couple of seconds too slow in turning. Oh yes, there's also the matter of collateral damage to those on the ground.

DCA has survived alot of things in the past, and the quick response of congresscritters opposed to having their convenient airport (complete with parking places) taken away has indeed be one of the main reasons why DCA has survived. I don't think the above congresscritters want to be viewed as putting personal convenience ahead of national security/public interest, and accordingly, I doubt DCA will ever reopen. If IAD or BWI is too far a drive for them, I'm sure some type of arrangement will be concocted whereby Andrews AFB will be utilized for them (better ground security anyways) and some rich corporate donor/sponsor provide use of their corporate jets to get in and out.

Hope I'm wrong, as DCA is a great airport, full of history, but history has now "changed" things, forever...

User currently offlineSkychuck From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 949 times:

DCA may well be closed permantly, but I doubt if ANY civilian operations will ever occur at Andrews. More likely Manassas, tho' the airspace might conflict with IAD.

User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4345 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (13 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 944 times:

no, Manassas isn't FAA approved to handle any passenger flights and I highly doubt they will ever be. I am based out of Manassas, VA and know about it from CFIs, FAA, and the controllers while trainingfor my license.

I think DCA will remain open just ave to keep the sercurity tight.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 927 times:

If not bizjets at ADW, then perhaps DCA will get converted into a military base, so the congresscritters can stay close.

Bottomline, is it's hard to see DCA's future use as a commerical airline airport given what's been going on, and the proximity of nearby high-value targets...

User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4345 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (13 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 924 times:

From the washingtonpost.com site:

Two senior federal officials said today that concerns about terrorism will
cause Washington's Reagan National Airport to remain closed indefinitely.
"I think it's clear National Airport is not going to be open for a while,"
one senior official told The Washington Post's Spencer Hsu. "It won't be
hours. It won't be days."
Reagan National's close proximity to the White House and other government
buildings prompted the decision to close the airport.

Meanwhile, DCA is not Notam'ed closed, but an FDC notam (and the atis)
restricts operations in the surface area of 7NM radius, up to 3000 feet.

What bugs me is that these "senior" officials wouldn't speak on the record.
And if the FAA has so little faith in their security measures that they worry
that someone might steal an airliner from DCA, why the heck are they letting
folks fly at all? More knee-jerk reactions, I guess.

Glad I got to fly into DCA when I had the chance. I feel bad for the folks
who have aircraft based there - if they aren't allowed to remove their
property, then they should sue for relief - the government has "taken" their
property and they are due compensation.

User currently offlineJfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 917 times:

Well the DC-area terrorism this week occurred with planes originating from IAD, not DCA. So why not shut down IAD also?


User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (13 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 905 times:

IAD was not shut down like DCA because of its relative distance from major federal buildings in downtown DC. DCA is a stone's throw away from Petagon. EWR, despite is security breach, is open again and it's not unreasonable to accept IAD being reopened with increased security measures.

User currently offlineCO/ba From United States of America, joined May 2001, 399 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (13 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 894 times:

regarding IAD I took a trip around the AOA today and it is pretty dead. I was expecting check points on the AOA like I used to see when I first started here in 97. Yes there is an increased police presence here which kept me out of the main terminal but there dfinetly needs to be a little more atention to the AOA.

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