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DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:30 am

Will DCA ever be able to expand beyond it's current state? I wouldn't think extending the runway by 1 or 2 thousand feet would be too difficult a task, and it would open up better payload capabilities, especially during the hot summer months. Any room for new gates/terminals, or getting rid of the perimeter rule? Let me know what you think.
 
repaulson
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:37 am

There are some many political problems with that who knows... There is room for more terminal space (IA where NW is right now) I don't know what the fate is with that end of the field. I don't think they'll eve extent the runway. Since there is so much room at IAD international traffic (besides Canada) will have to stay there. That's too much money for WAA to spend to up it for that kind of traffic. Besides how would you upgrade the runway for heavies?
 
potomac
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:45 am

yeah, runway extension is pretty much out of the question, as is the likelihood of them allowing anything larger than a 757 to land there. in terms of terminals, there has been recent discussion about building new terminal for USAirways RJs/commuter operations and they could potentially do that where the old interim terminal once was (now its back to hangars).
 
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Aaron747
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:50 am

Pigs will fly before DCA is physically expanded. The obstacles are too numerous, the good reasons to do so too few.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
capt078
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:52 am

i think given the current security climate that any expansion at dca would be ruled out. remember, all flights in and out have marshalls aboard and the 30 minute seat rule. i think the last thing the federal gov't would want or allow would be larger planes coming in and out of an airport under increased security so close to such precious landmarks...

i would not be suprised if an efficient rapid transit system were to link downtown d.c. with iad or bwi though.
 
zrb2
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:53 am

I can't imagine the public outcry if they even hint of a runway extension. By the way, how is DCA getting around the FAA mandate of 1,000' safety overrun areas? They are definitely holding other airports to it, but I'm not sure of the timeframe for getting it done. On either end of DCA you'd plop right into the Potomac.
 
WMUPilot
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:00 am

Maybe DCA is trying to concider the Potomac as a 1000' overrun? Knowing the politicans there is more truth behind that then you think.
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OzarkD9S
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:12 am

DCA is a done deal as far as physical size goes. Improvements to the existing site are always under review, but there is no way in Hell it's land area will be expanded. Since IAD was first concieved, the idea was to eventually close DCA not grow the airport.
Thank Congress who enjoy it's convenience to the District for keeping it open at all.
Next up: STL DEN PSP DEN STL
 
ssides
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:23 am

Terminal expansion, maybe. They could tear down the old terminal A, which is badly in need of renovation, and move more operations there. But there's really not room to expand the runway, and people who live in that area have constantly opposed any expansion of flights. In addition to security, I also think this keeps aircraft larger than a 757 out (can anyone confirm? I can't see a 767 using DCA's runway, but it might be possible).

As far a the perimeter rule is concerned, this is pretty much a political question. Originally, the perimeter was supposed to be 1,000 miles. However, at that time Texas had (and still has) a powerful Congressional delegation, so they were able to extend it to the current 1,250, allowing nonstops to DFW (1,192 miles) and IAH (1,204 miles). More recently, some officials were able to get some "political" exceptions to the perimeter rule, which allowed Alaska's service to SEA and HP's service to PHX and LAS. TWA also received a slot to LAX (Does anyone know who uses this slot now)?

In any event, I could definitely see the perimeter opening up a bit, possibly allowing flights to DEN, SFO or SAN.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:27 am

One thing we probably will see at DCA is a few more beyond-perimeter flights added every so often. Every West-Coast politician wants flights to his or her home town from DCA, and all of the larger West Coast cities can probably pretty easily support the flights. Such flights are an extremely attractive plum, and Congress will probably be closely split between the parties for a long time. That means an ongoing need for legislative deal-sweeteners.

Dulles, meanwhile, will survive. A handful of narrowbodies from DCA to the West Coast aren't going to undermine Dulles, MWAA's 'Chicken Little' squawking to the contrary.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
gigneil
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:33 am

DCA enjoys nonstop service to DEN on Frontier... previously on a 733 now of course an A319.

My parents are actually coming in on it in a few weeks.

The "political" exceptions went to a variety of people... mostly smaller carriers and TWA, who was trying to survive.

National's slots to AS / KLAS), USA - Nevada">LAS were recycled into a DL nonstop to SLC. I'm not sure who got the LAX slot, but I want to say AS uses it to SEA now.

It made me sad when DL got the slot... although I understand why they did - coverage to small towns in the mountain West.

N
 
Braniff727
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:44 am

The MWAA is currently rennovating the historic terminal. This will include ticket counters, gates and jetways for occupants of the current A terminal. Once everyone is moved in, the nasty old A thing will be demolished. I do not recall the timeline for completion.

I've been flying in and out of DCA several times over the last month or so, and I can tell you I can't wait until NW is out of that horrid terminal!
Climbing
 
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Aaron747
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 4:05 am

I hate having to come into IAD on B6 from OAK. I'd certainly welcome DCA in a heartbeat.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
contrails
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:06 am

Let's see: lengthen the runway and bring in 767s and maybe some A330s and maybe even a 777. Here's what would happen.

There are people living in the DCA environs who hate it to the depths of their souls They would have preferred that it never opened up after the September 11 attacks. The mere suggestion of expanding DCA in any direction would cause an enormous outcry from them, and the first thing they would do would be to march to Congressman Moran's office (he serves the Arlington area, where DCA is), and he-being the politician he is-would quickly announce that he will do everything in his power to stop the expansion. He would be joined by Arlington County Board, most probably; not because it would adversely affect the county but because the members of that board will do anything to gain a few votes.

The propaganda campaign would begin a few weeks after the first hint of an expansion. They would have ads depicting plane crashes; the attack on the Pentagon; little babies not able to sleep; dogs and cats going wild; crops not growing right; air pollution; noise pollution; water pollution; miscarriages; and who knows what else. They would blame all these on the DCA expansion, of course.

Then BWI and IAD would join the fracas, claiming it would be unfair to them. About 3 weeks later the FAA would say "This is not well advised at this time".

I'd support a modest expansion, but it'll never happen.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
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Aaron747
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:14 am

Contrails, that's *so* on the money. Hilarious commentary
too. I know precisely the scenario you're describing, as we have family in NoVa and MD suburbs I visit often.

Airport NIMBYism is with us for the long haul. Similar reaction has ensued with recent talks regarding LAX expansion, and the wacko enviros here in the Bay Area have suggested no more expansions for SFO/OAK, and to build new somewhere out near Sacramento!
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
762er
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:20 am

I just wish they'd give us (US Airways) about 5 or 6 more mailine gates, cancel the perimeter rule, and extend the runway by about 1500 feet so that we could fly transcons and transatlantic. Now, is that asking too much??!!??!!  Big grin An A330 is quieter than a 732 which currently fly into the airport.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:22 am

How would you propose to add 1500' to 1/19?
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
potomac
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:27 am

i think we're discussing some possibilities that are not possible. the runways at DCA will not be lengthened. it is almost as unlikely that wide bodies will be allowed in too. you will see some more terminal improvements, some added 'in-perimeter' service, and some new beyond perimeter service, but nothing that will change DCA from a purely short/medium haul airport.
 
ssides
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:35 am

Right on, Potomac. Have you seen how difficult it is to get a 757 to the DCA terminal? There's simply no way that a widebodycould get there. As much as I hate IAD, international service should remain out there. Reconfiguring DCA's runways, terminal and customs area would be simply too much.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
potomac
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:40 am

and lets not forget the reason IAD was created in the first place - as the area airport for med/long range domestic and intl service. and unlike DCA and BWI, it has room to grow in terms of capacity, terminals, parking, runways (and is already doing so towards all 4), it has a favorable existing runway configuration, and it is becoming more and more 'convenient' as more and more businesses and people are located closer to the airport.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:45 am

I should clarify - like a lot of other people arriving from the west coast, I only have a problem with IAD midday.

Arriving/leaving early in the morning is fairly convenient. Sure, you can't jump on metro, but that carpool lane on the tollway does wonders.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
727LOVER
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 8:14 am

How is it that NW was left out of the new terminal?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Dulles
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 9:12 am

Some years ago (with the new terminal altready in operation), I was stunned to see among the marks for the front wheels in the parking spots at the gates "767" and even "747". Has 747 ever landed in DCA? Quite possible, under special circumstances, at least using the approach from the south. After all, TU-144 has landed in 18 USSR airports. It needed a shorter distance for takeoffs and landings than Concorde, though...

Dulles
 
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wilcharl
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:19 pm

a 767 has been parked at terminal "c" usairways on a diversion one gate can handle and is marked for it
 
srbmod
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:09 pm

The number one concern of the NIMBYs would be that would any expansion (no matter how small) create more slots? National is still open because of its' proximity of the airport to Capital Hill. That is also the biggest concern safetywise as well. If Dulles had better connections to downtown D.C., National would be obsolete. If the Metro went out to Dulles instead of ended @ West Falls Church, it would allow passengers quicker access to the airport. National should have been closed once Dulles was opened, but the powerful political machine that is the US Congress has kept the airport open too long. National's runway layout is dangerous, as illustrated by the Air Florida crash. Despite the new takeoff procedures, there is still the chance of another crash into a bridge. National is hemmed in, not only by natural boundries, but by development around the airport. As much as I like National (I love the easy access to town), it perhaps is time to cut off the political circus that surrounds it and allows it to remain open.
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:43 pm

National's runway layout really isn't that dangerous...no more so than many other airports. The Air Florida crash had nothing to do with the runway layout of DCA. When planes take off with heavy amounts of ice on their wings, bad things can happen....regardless of the airport.

Should DCA have been closed after Dulles was opened? Probably, but at this point closing DCA would be a disaster. Dulles is not equipped to handle all the passengers that DCA currently moves and it will likely be 2012 (or later) before Metro reaches Dulles. Even when Metro does get there, the long Metro ride from Dulles to downtown DC will likely discourage many from using it.

As for expansion at DCA, it will be minimal. The old terminal A will be renovated and partially reconstructed (but maintain the historic terminal area). After renovation, there may be a net gain of a few gates, but nothing substantial. USAirways will likely get a regional jet facility on the north side of the airport where the current hangars are, however the facility will not be large enough to allow for substantial expansion. Of course, all of this is limited by slots which will remain in effect. Congress is currently pusing through legislation that will create 12 additional beyond perimeter slots (6 round trips). Should this legislation survive (and I think it will), this will allow for a few nonstops to be added to LAX,SFO and additional slots to DEN.

Beyond these changes, I don't forsee any substantial expansion at DCA.
 
repaulson
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:04 am

I believe an Eastern A300 few into DCA once. I thought I saw a picture of that once. Along time ago.

Wouldn't you have to have a "Thicker" runway depth wise for an A330 besides being longer? How would you accomplish that while normal traffic departed/arrived. Conceivably, I can see an extension from the south but never a runway strong enough to take that weight... Am I right? I doubt they'll even extend it. We'll be lucky if we see a 753 in there.
 
762er
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2001 8:18 am

RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:29 am

According to Airnav.com:

Runway Information DCA Runway 1/19
Dimensions:
6869 x 150 ft. / 2094 x 46 m
Surface:
asphalt/grooved, in good condition
Weight limitations:
Single wheel:
110000 lbs
Double wheel:
200000 lbs
Double tandem:
360000 lbs


Vs, Kahului Maui (OGG)
OGG Runway 2/20

Dimensions:
7000 x 150 ft. / 2134 x 46 m
Surface:
asphalt/grooved, in good condition
Weight limitations:
Single wheel:
130000 lbs
Double wheel:
170000 lbs
Double tandem:
270000 lbs

OGG is at a slightly higher elevation than DCA, has a similar runway (less than 200 feet longer), has seen regular 763/4, 777, DC-10, A330 and L1011 service and has served nonstop scheduled pax flights as far as DFW, IAH, STL, and ORD. The distance between OGG-ORD is further than DCA-FRA. Maybe it's just the perimeter rule that needs to be abolished. Also, DCA's 1/19 can handle heavier airplanes than OGG's 2/20! Perhaps international service could become a reality if the perimeter rule were to be abolished.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:46 am

I wouldn't count on it. After all, that's what Dulles is there for.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
ssides
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:59 am

Well, I don't think it's the perimeter rule that stops international service (though I could be wrong). I believe that there is also a separate rule that no international service can be flown into DCA (except to certain Canadian markets).

Can anyone confirm this? I could be wrong; the Canada service may come simply because YYZ and YUL fall into the perimeter. Even so, after 9/11 I can't see the FAA allowing non-stop international flights in to DCA, even if it were expanded.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
gigneil
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Fri Aug 08, 2003 1:17 am

US offers service to several Caribbean countries nonstop from DCA.

N
 
tomindc
Posts: 127
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Fri Aug 08, 2003 6:37 am

Yes, US goes non-stop from DCA to BDA and the Bahamas I believe...fairly new service.
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Fri Aug 08, 2003 6:50 am

Where are the customs and immigration facilities at DCA?

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
N670UW
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RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Fri Aug 08, 2003 6:54 am

If I'm not mistaken, passengers on the BDA flight are pre-checked in BDA.
 
potomac
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 5:06 am

RE: DCA Expansion Possibilities

Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:44 am

there are no customs facilities at dca - its all done at BDA and in the bahamas. incidentally, besides service the canada, that is the extent of the nonstop intl/caribbean service.

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