TSA names Dulles International Airport as a gateway airport, allowing general aviation access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

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National Press Release
Thursday, December 28, 2006

WASHINGTON - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today that beginning January, 2 2007, Dulles International Airport (IAD) will serve as the newest gateway airport, 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). Operators are now allowed to apply to begin general aviation flights from IAD into DCA.

Currently, TSA allows general aviation flights that meet criteria of the DCA Access Standard Security Program to land at DCA. Aircraft must arrive from one of 17 gateway airports after flight crews have been vetted and passengers screened.

"We are being responsive to the aviation industry by adding Dulles as a gateway to DCA," said John Sammon, TSA's Assistant Administrator of Transportation Sector Network Management. "This provides operators much greater flexibility when traveling to the nation's capital while underlining TSA's commitment to maintain the highest levels of security while allowing for the free flow of commerce."

The access program was developed in July 2005 in coordination with other components of the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation and Defense. It allows up to 48 general aviation flights into DCA per day and addresses the unique aviation security needs in the national capitol region by requiring all aircraft to meet standards set 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 a 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 Dulles, Dallas/Love Field; Memphis, Tenn.; Milwaukee's General Mitchell; Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.; Boston Logan; Houston Hobby; White Plains, N.Y.; LaGuardia, N.Y.; Chicago Midway; Minneapolis/St.Paul; West Palm Beach, Fla.; San Francisco; Teterboro Airport, N.J.; Philadelphia; Lexington, Ky.; and Port Columbus, Ohio all serve as gateway airports.