Reagan National’s new commuter concourse will have 14 gates connected to regional aircraft.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, at its board of directors meeting March 22, kicked off Project Journey, a comprehensive campaign surrounding the planned $1 billion, multi-year capital improvement project that will transform the passenger experience at Reagan National Airport.
Scheduled to mobilize in summer 2017, Project Journey includes construction of two new security checkpoints that fully connect the concourse level of Terminal B/C to airline gate areas, buildout of an enclosed commuter concourse to replace the 14 outdoor gates currently serviced by buses from gate 35X and future improvements to roadway and parking configurations.
“Reagan National's passenger areas were designed to serve 15 million passengers annually,” said Jack Potter, Airports Authority president and CEO. “Today, more than 23 million passengers travel through the airport — straining its infrastructure, crowding travelers and hampering our ability to provide best-in-class customer service. Project Journey will transform and improve the passenger experience.”
Design has been completed for two new security checkpoints that will be constructed above the Terminal B/C arrivals roadway and connected to National Hall and walkways from the Metrorail station and parking garages. Upon activation, the new checkpoints will expand capacity from 20 to 28 security lanes, expediting the screening process and creating a seamless, free-flowing environment between Terminal B/C airline concourses and the new commuter concourse. The resulting connectivity is designed to provide passengers an improved post-security experience — alleviating gate area congestion while expanding access to a variety of shopping and dining options.
Project Journey also will replace the 14 outdoor aircraft boarding positions accessed by bus through Gate 35X with a new commuter concourse. New video and detailed renderings of the concourse designs were unveiled at the board meeting. The concourse will provide regional travelers with direct, enclosed access to planes via jet bridges, spacious waiting and boarding areas, diverse seating options with integrated power outlets and new concessions. The concourse design includes architectural features consistent with the Terminal B/C's exposed metal beams, glass walls and domed ceilings while maximizing open, navigable gate areas and panoramic views of downtown Washington, D.C.
“Passengers are at the center of everything we do,” said Paul Malandrino, vice president and airport manager of Reagan National. “While construction will take time and have some impacts along the way, the final product will provide a much more pleasant customer experience at the airport. We will work closely with contractors, airlines and the TSA throughout the project to manage the construction in order to minimize airport passenger and operational disruptions.”
The project will occur in two concurrent phases. The first, comprised of the new security checkpoints, is planned to open in 2020, while the commuter concourse is scheduled for completion in 2021.
“Project Journey is born out of our motto, 'your journey begins with us' because we recognize travels are shaped, in part, by the experience individuals have in our airports. That is why Project Journey is critical to our mission as we continuously work to upgrade passenger comfort and amenities for a better travel experience,” said Jerome L. Davis, Airports Authority executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “Building a new concourse and relocating security checkpoints will open new opportunities for the Airports Authority to make passenger-focused improvements throughout the existing and new terminal space — transforming Reagan National into the best airport it can be.”
To prepare for Project Journey construction, the Airports Authority's headquarters staff will relocate from airport grounds to Crystal City in April. The mailing address and telephone contacts for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will remain the same, with few exceptions. The current headquarters building, located on the site of the future commuter concourse, will be demolished as part of the project.
The April 2017 Airports Authority board meeting will be held at Dulles International while headquarters functions are transitioned into the new facility. Beginning in May, board meetings will take place in the 5th floor conference room in the new corporate office located at 2733 Crystal Drive in Arlington, Va.
For more information on Project Journey, visit www.flyreagan.com/projectjourney.