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MWAA Criticizes DCA Flights Push

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is urging Congress to defeat proposals to add up to 28 new flights at Reagan National Airport DCA.

DCA averages 819 daily takeoffs and landings on its relatively short main runway, making it the most heavily utilized runway in the nation.

“DCA operates at full capacity, with a takeoff or landing every minute, for much of the day,” said Jack Potter MWAA president and CEO. “Adding more flights to this already-packed schedule would lead to more delays, which would result from the need to accommodate the spacing between aircraft operations that is required to assure safety.”

The next-busiest runway in the nation after DCA is at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with 781 takeoffs and landings a day, followed by runways at Newark Liberty International (EWR) with 607 and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) airports with 599. Potter said the runway statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration dispel claims by proponents of additional DCA flights that the airport is “underutilized.”

“How can anyone credibly say that Washington’s smallest airport, with the busiest runway in America, is underutilized?” he said. “While DCA is very popular because of its proximity to Capitol Hill, it simply cannot accommodate all the flights that airlines want to send to Washington.”