Skyteam
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:50 pm

Dca?

Sun Aug 06, 2000 8:57 am

In past forums I have heard several negative comments about Washington National Airport (DCA) Is it that bad? I know the location kinda sux, But is that the only reason???

Thanks,

SKYTEAM
 
desertjets
Posts: 7570
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: Dca?

Sun Aug 06, 2000 9:26 am

I don't know of any negative comments about National Airport. It is small, but its location could not be beat. It is 20 minutes from downtown by metro, about the same by car if traffic is not bad. It has the beautiful new National Hall. Can't think of anything bad about it.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Guest

RE: Dca?

Sun Aug 06, 2000 9:44 am

The location I dont think is good, you cant go north of it, its just a pain in the butt for pilots.
 
searpqx
Posts: 4173
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 10:36 am

RE: Dca?

Sun Aug 06, 2000 10:20 am

Pilots have been known to grumble about it (for very legit reasons) because both the approach and departure can be difficult (due to its location). Back ten years ago, I hated the physical structure because while the outside looked sorta neat w/ the old Deco main terminal, it was cramped and felt rundown. Now however I can't think of a single complaint about it. The new terminal is a work of art, and while still very busy and full, feels much more spacious. And as DesertJets mentions, you can't beat the location from a commuting standpoint!

Duane
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
N202PA
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

RE: Dca?

Sun Aug 06, 2000 11:43 am

DCA is a wonderful airport, both the old Main Terminal and the brand-new National Hall.

Something that also should be mentioned is that DCA is a pretty darn nice place to spot, if you can find the right locations. Gravelly Point, or the ends of the middle and northernmost pier of National Hall are excellent places for this. 
 
Peter
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 6:08 am

RE: Dca?

Sun Aug 06, 2000 12:42 pm

I think that its a great airport. The location is good, and the terminal is amazing. Its one of my favorite airports.
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: Dca?

Sun Aug 06, 2000 1:06 pm

Its name is Ronald REAGAN National Airport. D.C. is one of my two homes and I'm proud of both the new name of the airport and its new terminal. The airport is convenient and a pleasure to fly in to. The approach over the Potomac, sharp turns and all, has the best views (sit on the left side of the aircraft) of the Washington, D.C area.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
N202PA
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

RE: Dca?

Sun Aug 06, 2000 3:27 pm

I'll never call the place Reagan National Airport. Nothing against the guy, or his administration, but the way Congress forced the naming thing on Washingtonians was downright shameful.

Until the day I die, I will never stop calling it Washington National Airport, my one and only favoite hometown airport.  
 
Skyteam
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:50 pm

N202PA

Mon Aug 07, 2000 5:19 am

Ditto, I will always call it Washington National Airport until I die!!!!! I hope to go their soon. Do you know any good spotting areas?

SKYTEAM
 
N202PA
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

RE: Dca?

Mon Aug 07, 2000 6:43 am

DCA seems to have a slight problem with unobstructed spotting areas. I saw on the design (published in the Post) before it opened that there was supposed to be an observation deck, but according to the people at the information desk, it does not exist right now.

Still, there are a couple of good places to look. If the approaches are coming from the north on the particular day (from the left, if you're not geographically inclined), go to either the window near the Great Steak and Potato Co., at the end of Terminal C. If you nudge yourself out of the way of the line, you'll have a nice view of the aircraft as they come gliding down past the Washington Monument.

Alternatively, you can go to the very end of the middle pier (considered to be Terminal B), and stand against the windows by the United gates. As long as you're out of the way, they won't bother you. However, the view is slightly obstructed, because you can't watch the aircraft roll out...just the touchdowns at the end of rwy 18. Same for the spotting location presented above.

If the approaches are coming from the south, you can go into the large central hall of the Historic Main Terminal (Terminal A), and sit in the rows of chairs that stand empty, waiting to be used. Once, long ago, this is where you could have seen DC-4s and DC-3s pulling up to the ramp, watching your friends and family coming down the stairs. Those aircraft are long gone, but these days, you can see jets as they roll out--the touchdown point is usually not visible, since the Main Terminal is not oriented in that direction. However, with the old second MT pier demolished, you get a very wide and expansive view of the airfield. Sometimes, too, Delta MD-88s and MD-90s are parked on the ramp, waiting to be flown back to Dallas and Atlanta. Be sure not to miss the airport museum at the top of the stairs, the picture display on the back wall, and the beautiful art deco design that is being restored to its original splendor.  

Also, there are supposedly sitting areas on the top level with good views, accessed by going out the exists of the ticketing level and walking all the way to the right or left and turning toward the airfield. I have not visited these areas yet, so I can't confirm if they exist, but I'll be flying out of DCA next Monday, so when I'm there, I'll take a look and report back.

Hope that helps!  
 
D L X
Posts: 11655
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Dca?

Mon Aug 07, 2000 1:20 pm

I would note that no real Redskin-loving Washingtonians call it by that other name that Congress has imposed on the locals like dogs impose their digesteds on the grass. And, I'm talking about local republicans and democrats both. You simply don't name something after someone who is still alive, nor do you go naming something that doesn't belong to you.

The airport is grand, and safe. Whenever I meet a pilot, I ask them if they have landed at DCA. If they have, I ask them if they felt it was a difficult airport to approach. Every one of them laughed at the idea.  
 
Lindy
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Dca?

Mon Aug 07, 2000 1:55 pm

DCA airport is great. One of my favorite airports! And there is lots of places for spotting.
I would say that IAD location sux and spotting places are limited.
But today I went there (was rainy like hell). First I went to the airplane superstore pickup Wooster B737-200 MetroJet and EL AL B747-400. After that I was driving around airport for 2 hrs looking for spot where I could get approach pictures. And I FOUND IT!!!!!!! For the first time I was taking pictures not from the terminal!!!
You dont even need big lens, I had 70mm-210mm and it was more then enough for taking pictures from that place.
I hope next weekend we will have better weather!!

Regards,
Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
Guest

RE: Lindy

Mon Aug 07, 2000 2:52 pm

Lindy,

What place did you find? Where is it?
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 2:31 am

I hate to burst your bubble, but read the United States Constitution. The District of Columbia is a federal city spelled out in that document and Congress has EVERY right AND responsibility to govern it when and how they see fit....including DCA. That goodness Congress rescued us from the fiscal irresponsibility of our city leaders. As I frequently tell my sniveling neighbors on Capitol Hill, if you don't like it, move. No one forces you to live in the District. Long live Ronald Reagan National Airport. By the way....more and more reservation agents when I call for flight reservations are referring to DCA as Reagan. "Reagan or Dulles, sir?" Love it.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
Lindy
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 2:57 am

WentOnA777

Hey,
That place is near road 28 towards Sterling. When you pass airport turn left on Old Oax (or OX) Road. Then drive 2 miles and you will see sign on your right "Dulles Mail Facilities". Follow that sign. When you turn right from Old Oax Road you will see another sign "Dulles Mail Facilities" - dont turn there but go straigh, after 500feet you will see sign that road ends there. Park your car and enjoy that nice view!!!! You can have palnes flying directly over your head or you can park on that moudy road.

BTW - Police passed by me and my friend many times, they didnt bother us.

Regards,
Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
N202PA
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 3:12 am

Bicoastal, I'd ask you to reserve commenting on DCA until you know what you're talking about.

Washington National Airport is located in Arlington County, Virginia, not the District of Columbia. DC does not have a commercial airport technically within its boundaries because of space concerns.

DCA is the only airport in the nation whose slots are controlled by the Federal government, and many argue that this is unnecessary today. The only reason why the re-naming was allowed to go by without major protest is that both Dulles and National airports are controlled by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, a public entity created with the consent of the U.S. Congress in 1985.

However, the airports are technically contained within the boundaries of Virginia, and there are many who argue that they should be considered Virginia's airports, and not Washington's. This is why the re-naming ruffled so many feathers--because we were never given a choice in the matter of who this airport was named after, if anyone. Our glorious leaders in Congress made a unilateral decision about it without consulting the people. That's hardly representative democracy.

To me, it will always be Washington National Airport, and if anyone comes up to me asking directions to "Reagan Airport", I'll simply tell them that no such thing exists.
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 4:18 am

The fact is is Congress has the right to do it and they did. Deal with it, my friend. There's much in life I don't like either. Happy flying.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
N202PA
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 5:33 am

You may feel that they had the right to do what they did, but I don't.

Reagan Airport does not exist. National Airport, on the other hand, does.

Happy flying!
 
Lindy
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 5:37 am

What about Bush airport, his still alive, but they named airport after him.
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
trintocan
Posts: 2726
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 6:02 pm

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 5:55 am

I have flown into both Reagan National and Dulles when visiting relatives in Richmond, VA because direct flights into RIC are much more expensive. For convenience, nothing beats National. It is just outside of Washington, DC and is a straight 2-hour drive from Richmond. IAD is a further half-hour drive from Richmond and, in the heat of Washington traffic, can seem to take forever. In 1993 when leaving Richmond for IAD to return home, we left late and were mired in traffic for a long time and only got to IAD with a few minutes before our flight's departure!

Yes, when National had only the older terminals it looked rundown and shabby but, with the new Concourse added it looks splendid indeed. It is really a fine, well-designed, clean and modern facility and certainly deserves the name of former President Reagan. The tarmac is small but gives a congested, busy appearance which I find interesting to observe.

This is not to say that Dulles is not good-looking and, in the context of handling international flights, its location and spaciousness facilitate that. Reagan National, however, is the one I prefer.


 
Trintocan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
gocaps16
Posts: 4138
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 9:14 am

RE: Dca? Lindy

Tue Aug 08, 2000 6:17 am

Lindy,

Are you talking about going on Rt. 28 north and turning right on Gate 4? I go there alot. Great spot and yes, the guards are really nice if you talk to them.

DCA is amazing.
 
Lindy
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Gocaps16

Tue Aug 08, 2000 6:29 am

Gocaps16,

No, I'm going in opposide way of Gate 4. When you leave the airport you have exit to Rt.28 going to Sterling or going to Centreville. Take exit to Sterling and turn left on the first light on Rt.28.

What about Gate 4??? I was there too but some people came to us and said that we cant stop there so we left. Can you spot from there???

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
D L X
Posts: 11655
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 1:01 pm

Bicoastal, you have the right to say whatever you please by the 1st amendment. (Although, I'm not sure what Bill of Rights amendment gave Congress the right to name and airport that isn't in DC.)

However, it shows where your true home is when you call it by that other name. If they had named it Jimmy Carter National Airport, or Chuck Robb National Airport, you would probably be jumping up and down about how Congress has had its finger in DC Area airports management for far too long. Tell me this, how do you feel about Sen. McCain holding up funding for a interconcourse subway at Dulles unless he got nonstop flights from DCA to Phoenix?
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 3:50 pm

Hey, that's politics....he or she with the most votes and power wins. I could deal with a Jimmy Carter National Airport...he's a great humanitarian...but lousy President. Both sides of the political spectrum play power games....Senator McCain didn't do what others haven't done for years on various issues, not just airports. The current powers that be named it Reagan and those in control before them didn't. Oh well, they lose. Deal. This isn't a politics forum (PLEASE) but the legal and official name of DCA is Ronald Reagan National Airport. Call it what you want, but over time Reagan will win out.

Redskins and the Caps forever, my friends, I AM a Washingtonian. Now can we end this thread and get back to airlines and airliners?????
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
acvitale
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 7:17 pm

Actually, Washington National Airport was already named after a president. One that was far more worthy and did not have things like Iran Contra and Hondurian and Panamain drug smuggling funding CIA operations under it's administration. That is correct... President George Washington. I am sure one day that Reagan will lose out to yet another political figure or president.

Washington National is how I view DCA and will continue to do so. Enough said!
 
N202PA
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 9:44 pm

RE: Dca?

Tue Aug 08, 2000 10:24 pm

I think that general opinion of people here re: the naming issue has been voiced. Fact is, most people don't like the Reagan moniker, and people will ignore it. The name may officially include the Reagan name, but that doesn't mean that Washingtonians have to, or will, call it that.

DCA is a great airport, though, and I think that's something that we can all agree on? Am I right?  
 
gocaps16
Posts: 4138
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 9:14 am

RE: Dca?

Sat Aug 12, 2000 12:20 pm

WEll, I've been to Gate 4 few times like 5 times and they never said a word 'cept I approched them asking if they'll let us go thru to take pictures he said no but he lets us spot planes along the side of Gate 4. Great view of arrivals into RWY 1R