TSA names Dallas/Love Field, Memphis International Airport and Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport as gateway airports, allowing general aviation access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

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National Press Release
Friday, May 5, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today named Dallas/Love Field Airport (DAL), Memphis International Airport (MEM) and Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) as the newest “Gateway” airports, allowing certain pre-cleared general aviation operations, including corporate aircraft, charter flights, and on-demand operations, to fly directly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

Currently, TSA allows those general aviation flights in accordance with the DCA Access Standard Security Program into DCA. The access program was developed in July 2005 in coordination with other Department of Homeland Security components, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies.  

“TSA is pleased to be adding three more Gateway airports to the DCA Access Standard Security Program,” said Robert Rottman, TSA’s General Manager for General Aviation. “The partnership with the industry ensures TSA’s stringent security requirements are maintained while increasing general aviation access.”

The program, which allows up to 48 general aviation flights into DCA per day, addresses the special aviation security needs in the National Capitol Region by requiring all aircraft to meet security measures set forth by TSA. These measures include:

  • Advanced registration and qualification of operators and crews seeking to operate at DCA.
  • TSA inspection of crew and passengers.
  • TSA inspection of property (accessible and checked) and aircraft.
  • Identification checks of passengers by TSA.
  • Submission of passenger and crew manifests 24 hours in advance of flight.
  • Enhanced background checks for all passengers and fingerprint based criminal history records check for flight crew.
  • An Armed Security Officer on board each flight, authorized to use force.
  • All operations subject to cancellation at any time. Increases in the national Threat Level in the Washington, D.C. area or in the vicinity of the Gateway airports, will require all general aviation operations into and out of DCA to cease.

In addition to Dallas/Love Field, Memphis, Tenn., and Milwaukee’s General Mitchell airports, Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.; Boston Logan; Houston Hobby; White Plains, N.Y.; LaGuardia, N.Y.; Chicago Midway; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; San Francisco, Calif.; Teterboro Airport, N.J.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Lexington, Ky. all serve as Gateway airports.