June 28, 2016
Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., is about to undergo its biggest building project in nearly two decades, according to the Washington Post, which reported last week that the 75-year-old facility will commence a $1 billion renovation this fall.
Scheduled for completion in 2021, the project will include road improvements, a new parking garage and a new commuter concourse serving passengers of short-hop flights. Located on the north side of the airport, the new concourse will replace Gate 35X, which the Post called "a notorious choke point where travelers, in rain, sun or snow, are required to board shuttle buses to get to their planes."

The project is not an expansion of the airport but a repurposing of existing outdoor space. According to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority COO Margaret McKeough, "This capital program is not about growth. This is truly about relieving congestion. Travelers using Reagan National should expect a certain level of service. It is simply not acceptable to rely on the busing operation."

Reagan National is the region's second-busiest airport behind only Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. Although Reagan was built to accommodate up to 16 million passengers per year, last year it hosted more than 23 million passengers -- more than Dulles International, which is 14 times its size.

"Airlines and passengers want to be there," said Kevin Burke, executive director of the Airports Council International-North America. "That said, they do have a capacity problem."