FAA Releases Record of Decision for Dulles Airport Runway Expansion

DULLES, VA — The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued its Record of Decision (ROD) that determines the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s (MWAA) proposal to build two new runways and related improvements at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is the best alternative to improve safety, increase capacity and reduce delays with the least environmental impact.

MWAA’s proposal includes constructing an additional north-south and east-west runway, parallel and connector taxiways, Tier 3 concourse development, and navigational aids. The FAA also evaluated two runway alternatives and a “no-build” (or “no-action”) alternative in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) issued on August 11 this year.

The proposed increases in Dulles airfield capacity, coupled with a new passenger terminal and more aircraft gates, will enable the airport system to accommodate the forecasted demand of approximately 30 million passengers and 568,000 aircraft operations by 2010.

“Providing more runway capacity is vital for Dulles to keep pace with air traffic growth in the Washington region,” said FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey. “This project will ensure Dulles remains a safe and efficient gateway for travelers to our nation’s capital.”

Dulles is designated as a large hub, primary commercial service airport. In addition to Dulles’ critical role in the national airspace system, the airport serves as the “growth” airport in the metropolitan Washington region since growth at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is limited by federal legislation and surrounding land uses.

As part of evaluating the ability of MWAA’s proposal and the alternatives to meet the project’s purpose, need, and potential environmental impact, the FAA considered all submitted comments prior to issuing its decision. The ROD also outlines mitigation actions that MWAA will need to accomplish in various environmental areas as well as responses to comments received on the FEIS.

The ROD will be made available for review beginning October 21, 2005 at the locations listed below. The libraries will place the documents on reserve for public viewing only on-site. To view the document at MWAA or FAA offices, appointments should be made in advance. The ROD also will be posted at that time on the MWAA website.