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Courtesy of Howard Lansat Potography
Courtesy of Charles L. Waddell
Courtesy of the Rust Archive, Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg
Courtesy of Joseph Giuliani
Wa s h i n g to n D u l l e s I n te r n a t i o n a l A i r p o r t C e l e b ra te s 5 0 Ye a r s
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Dulles Marks 50 Years
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Former ‘Cow Field’ Fuels Northern Virginia Economic Growth Margaret Morton Staff Writer
Former state Sen. Charles Waddell, shown below as American Airlines ramp manager in 1965, took this early photo of Dulles International Airport.
t was after the Second World War that “President Eisenhower decided to plunk down an airport in the middle of a cow field in Loudoun County,” in the words of the late Loudoun mover and shaker B. Powell Harrison. That decision by the administration and Congress to construct a second airport for the capital area led to the opening in 1962 of one of the most beautiful airports in the world. Washington National Airport, built in 1941, was increasingly unable to handle the ever-growing air traffic. The Second Washington Airport Act of 1950 authorized the construction of an additional airport in the capital area. Eero Saarinen & Associates of Hamden, CT, was selected as architect for the project, with Ammann & Whitney of New York as prime contractor. Construction began Sept. 2, 1958. From the beginning, Saarinen wanted to create an airport with soul. He was not alone in thinking it was “the best thing I’ve ever done,” as passengers from the first moment the airport opened in 1962 to today speak reverently of the soaring sweep and simple elegance of the building, topped by its distinctive, 193-foot-high glass enclosed control tower. Named after Eisenhower’s Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, the airport was unlike any other in America, or indeed anywhere in the world. Saarinen designed the 600-foot-long by 200-foot-wide structure to accommodate an expansion of up to 320 feet at either end—a design that was completed seamlessly 34 years later in 1996. Construction began in 1958 at the 10,000-acre site assembled from a number of farms straddled on either side of the Fairfax/Loudoun line. It was the first airport designed to accommodate commercial jets in the country. Not only beautiful but also revolutionary in concept, by the time construction was complete, 11.5 million cubic yards of earth had been excavated and two north-south parallel runways 11,500 feet long and 150 feet wide and a third, 10,000-foot long northwestsouthwest runway built. Now being phased out, Dulles’ mobile lounges that ferried passengers to the planes were unique in 1962. The lounge buses could carry 102 passengers and made the airport very user friendly. From the terminal doors to the lounges, passengers had only to walk 200 feet—a far cry from today’s much longer distance to the outer terminals.
1994 And for passengers landing at Dulles, the slow ride to the terminal allowed the wonder of the majestic building to sink ever deeper into their consciousness. Some have likened their sense of awe to that experienced by the first sight of a great medieval cathedral. There is one man in Loudoun who was there almost “at the creation” and who championed its needs in the crucial early period. Former Loudoun Supervisor and State Sen. Charles L. Waddell, then an employee with American Airlines, was transferred from National Airport to Dulles just four months after its dedication Nov. 17, 1962. The 80-year-old Waddell, who retired in 2002 from his last public service stint as Virginia Secretary of Transportation, recalled being there when President John F. Kennedy officially opened the airport, with Eisenhower, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, FAA Administrator “Jeeb” Halaby and Virginia Gov. Albertis Harrison, along with a host of other dignitaries. After handling all aspects of the airline’s operations at Dulles, including as passenger service manager, Waddell entered public service in 1967, first as a county supervisor, then as a state senator. Waddell would play prominent roles in helping shape crucial
2012 These aerial photographs taken by Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc. depict the growth along the Dulles Corridor through the decades. The outlined area shows the perimeter of Washington Dulles International Airport.
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land use decisions and ensuring the financial support was there to increase traffic at Dulles. After being elected to the Virginia Senate in 1971, Waddell was put on the transportation committee, thereby “enhancing my ability to champion needs at Dulles.” The Sterling-Chantilly site was not the first choice for the new airport—Burke was. But in the end, the die was cast for Loudoun and Northern Virginia. Its distance from Washington, DC, left Dulles isolated at first, with most Northern Virginia travelers wanting to use National. One seasoned international traveler complained, “Who would ever drive 26 miles out there to the middle of nowhere to catch an airplane?” Growth was slow. “We tried everything. The Loudoun Chamber of Commerce used bumper stickers: “Follow me to Dulles; let’s create a traffic jam,” Waddell recalled. In another ploy, American Airlines flew a Boeing 707 down each morning from New York. Photos courtesy of Washington Airports Task Force For $5, passengers could take a sightseeThese views show the development that has occurred ing roundtrip to familiarize themselves with Northern Virginia before flying on further along Rt. 28 from 1989, bottom, to 2006, top. south. “People loved it,” he said. noting Herndon was the nearest point of access for It was not until control for both Dulles and National airports was transferred to the new Loudouners; it was Harrison who led the Rt. 28 Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in push to establish access from Loudoun. In 1987 Waddell sponsored the Rt. 28 Transthe 1980s that Dulles began to hit its stride. It then could seek access to funding for major portation Tax District Bill, with the support and improvements that had not been possible before, commitment of the business community, that converted the earlier, congested two-lane country Waddell said. Along with former Del. Carrington Williams road with at-grade crossings to a modern highway. and other local political and business leaders, Wad- He also sponsored legislation in 1988 for a private dell established the Washington Dulles Task Force toll road—today’s Dulles Greenway—to provide with the goal of providing private sector funding direct access from Leesburg to the airport. For his long support and activism on behalf improvements at Dulles until the airports authority could organize the issuance of development and of Dulles International Airport, in 1988 the Committee for Dulles honored Waddell with the Tower construction bonds. With General Assembly support, financial of Dulles award. Waddell has good memories of his time at and staffing support was put in place to allow MWAA and WATF to operate until resources Dulles. In the early years, with only a few flights, became available. The 1978 federal deregulation of Dulles was “dead during the day.” To add a bit of airlines also eventually facilitated a speedier growth spice, two of the airline’s agents—former college and high school track stars—used the concourse of air traffic to Dulles. Congressional help for Dulles, whose for a “100-yard dash” contest—cheered on appreimprovements were opposed by Baltimore Friend- ciatively by passengers. Another time, he was in the midfield operaship Airport—another player with a stake to tions area with others one afternoon when they protect—came in the early 1970s from Sen. Bill saw a pickup truck and trailer with West Virginia Spong and Congressman Joe Fisher. When Waddell became chairman of the tags approaching across an active runway. The Virginia Senate Transportation Committee in the driver asked: “Hey, mister, can you tell us how to mid-1980s and in the early 1990s landed a seat on get to Chantilly?” Waddell politely gave him directhe Finance Committee, “I was then in a better tions—not the reaction from the control tower, which was a bit more apoplectic. position to help Dulles,” he said. He also has a poignant memory. Mary Jane Later that decade, help came from Congressman Frank Wolf and Sens. John Warner and Booth, a much loved 42-year-old American AirChuck Robb. In the 1990s and 2000s, successive lines employee who was secretary to its general Virginia governors from Jerry Baliles to Tim Kaine manager at Dulles, died on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on also supported those efforts. Getting to Dulles was not easy. At first there 9/11. Today, that “middle of nowhere” has played a was only the access road from Washington, DC. It was not until the 1980s that the Dulles Toll Road direct role in Loudoun’s Rt. 28 being dubbed the was built. Nor was there a Rt. 267. And “there Silicon Valley of the East and the county’s status as was no Rt. 28 in the original plan,” Waddell said, the nation’s wealthiest county.
Air Wisconsin, a leader in the regional airline industry, is looking for
Air Wisconsin, a leader in the regio Passenger Service Agents airline industry, is looking for at the Dulles, VA airport!
Passenger Service Age Currently seeking Part-Time Currently seeking Part-Time and Full-Time PSAs: and Full-Time PSA’s:
Passenger Service Agents (PSAs) perform RAMP operations, which include:
Passenger Service Agents (PSAs) perform rAmP operations, which include:
at the Dulles, VA airport! Loading/unloading baggage Cleaning inside of aircraft Directing aircraft movement. Working outside in all types of weather conditions. Initial wage is $9.75 per hour – annual increases according to union contract
• Loading/unloading baggage inside of aircraft Currently seeking Part-Time and Full-Ti • and Directing movement. Valid unrestricted aircraft driver’s license Minimum of 18 years of age • Working outside in all types of Must be able to provide proof of eligibility to work in the U.S. Service Agents (PSAs) Abilityweather to Passenger lift up to 50conditions. pounds without assistance and up to 100 pounds perform R with assistance, bend, kneel and squat repeatedly operations, which include • beInitial wagespeak, is $9-$75 per hour :-English annual Must able to fluently read, write and understand Basic math skills increases according to union Availability to attend 3 full-time paid weeks of training (even for parttime positions) Loading/unloading baggage requirements: Ability to work days, nights, weekends, holidays and varied schedules Cleaning inside of aircraft This position is essential keeping our operation running smoothly and • Valid andtounrestricted driver’s license Directing aircraft maintaining customer loyalty to our partners. Wemovement. have PSAs in more than • Minimum of 18 years of age 20 locations throughout the country, and our employees have the Working outside in allof types of weather condition opportunity to relocate one oftothese locations if desired. For more • Must be toable provide proof information please visit theInitial Customer Service section of ourhour – annual increases wage is $9.75 per eligibility to work in the U.S. website:www.airwis.com/car_cs.htm • Abilty to liftcontract up to 50 pounds without
Requirements: • Cleaning
We offerassistance great benefits, including free parking, and up to 100 pounds with Requirements: paid training, vacat ion, 401K and worldwide travel assistance, bend, kneel and squat privileges! repeatedly
Valid and unrestricted driver’s license • Must be able to fluently speak, read, write of WILL 18 years age ONLY CANDIDATES WHO APPLY ONLINE OURMinimum WEBSITE BEofCONSIDERED! andAT understand English Must be able to provide proof of eligibility to work • Basic math skills Ability to lift up to 50 pounds without assistance a • Availability to attend 3 full-time paid weeks with assistance, bend, kneel and squat repeatedly of training (even for part-time positions) Must be able to fluently speak, read, write and un • Ability to work days, nights, weekends, Basic math skills holidays and varied schedules Availability to attend 3 full-time paid weeks of tra This position is positions) essential to keeping our time operation running Ability tosmoothly work days, and nights, weekends, holidays a maintaining customer loyalty to our ThisWe position essential to keeping partners. haveisPSAs in more than our operation run 20 locations throughout country, maintaining customerthe loyalty to our partners. We ha and our have thethe opportunity 20 employees locations throughout country, and our employ to relocate to one theseto locations if locations if de opportunity toof relocate one of these desired. For more information, please information please visit the Customer Service section visit the Customer Service section of website:www.airwis.com/car_cs.htm our website: www.airwis.com/car_cs.htm
We offer great benefits, including fre
We offer great benefits, including paid training, vacation, 401K and wo free parking, paid training, vacation, 401K and worldwide privileges! travel privileges!
ONLY CANDIDATES WHO APPLY WEBSITE WILL B ONLY CANDIDATES WHO APPLY ONLINE AT OURONLINE WEBSITE AT WILLOUR BE CONSIDERED!
LREPPEOOSRRBTTU 5R50G THOAD DDUULLLL EE SS AAI IR 0TTH ANA NNY NI IVVEERRSS AA RR YY
NOVEMBER29, 30,2012 2012 NOVEMBER
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The Mobile Lounge Included in architect Eero Saarinen’s design for the nation’s first airport designed for commercial jets was another innovative feature: the mobile lounge. When designing the main terminal, now seen as an icon representing Washington Dulles International Airport, Saarinen thought of the passenger first. “He wanted to minimize walking distances so that the distance from the curb where your car dropped you off, then past the ticket counters to where you boarded [the mobile lounge] was about  feet. You didn’t have to walk Joseph Giuliani parked his new Corvair nexto to a mobile very far,” Leo Schefer, lounge in 1962 to offer perspective on its size. longtime president of the Washington Airports Task Force, said. The concept also was meant to minimize the taxi time on the ground, as the mobile lounges would take passengers to the airplanes on a ramp in the middle of the airfield. Built by Chrysler Courtesy of Joseph Giuliani Corp. and the Budd Co. in Michigan, “the lounges were in fact really lounges,” Keith Meurlin, the airport’s manager from 1986 to 2005. “They were built in such a way that the interior was wide open. They had a hostess and a bar. Back then, if you went to a Washington Senators baseball game you wore a coat and a tie. You didn’t have steerage on airplanes. Riding the lounges was one thing, but driving them was another. “It was gigantic vehicle in those days,” said Joseph C. Giuliani, a native of Winchester who started his career in aviation as an architect with Capital Airlines at Ronald Reagan National Airport. In 1959, he started his own firm, Giuliani Associates Architects, specializing in aviation facilities. At the time, Dulles Airport was under construction and several airlines retained him to finish their facilities in the terminal and operations buildings. “I remember when Dulles first opened, I was talking to one of the drivers and he said it was like sitting on the front porch and driving around in it.” “It was a neat approach but it did not catch on anywhere else,” Schefer said, adding that the system would not be able to handle the volume of passengers the airport sees today. The mobile lounges for the most part were retired in January 2010, replaced by the underground AeroTrain system, although some are still used today. Before its retirement, the mobile lounge generated a lot of criticism from passengers. “People would say Dulles is the only airport in the world where you had three chances to miss your plane because there was the mobile lounge, etc.,” Schefer said. He was the man behind an update to the system that was aimed at appeasing frustrated passengers waiting for the lounges to take them to their airplanes. “United came in and did time and motion studies, and found the ugly truth was that the mobile lounges are more efficient than any other airport that had a transit system,” Meurlin recalled. “So we experimented. The idea came to me at a public outreach meeting where people were complaining about the airport and one guy started complaining and he used the example of the mobile lounges are like ‘sitting in my car waiting for my family to get ready for church.’” That set off a light bulb with Meurlin, who realized “if you’re standing in the kitchen reading the newspaper waiting for the wife and the kids to get ready to go to church it’s not a long wait. If you’re sitting in a car, it’s an eternity. On a mobile lounge, when you get on you expect it to move. And it doesn’t. “So what we tried doing was bringing the lounge in, letting the people off, closing the door and having the people wait outside, and then open it up, put them in and move. Well, then they could see the lounge out there, and they started banging on the doors. “So then we tried moving the lounge but there’s not an effective amount of area to maneuver to trick the public to give them the perception of having more control over their destiny.” The solution came from Schefer: A countdown clock outside each mobile lounge “so that you knew which lounge would go first and people could see how long it would be before it went, and they could relax.” “It really worked out well because people want to be in control,” Meurlin added. “Even if they show up with 20 minutes to go before a flight, they still believe it’s your fault. The countdown worked tremendously.” — Therese P. Howe
Congratulations to Dulles on its 50th anniversary! Your presence has made our projects in Loudoun County over the past 25 years very successful.
Thank you. Arcola Center Dulles Trade Center West Evergreen Commerce Center Dulles 606 Retail Center Broad Run Professional Building
Loudoun Tech Center Lakeside at Loudoun Tech Dulles Trade Center I Dulles Trade Center II Cascades Business Park
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D U L L E S A ILREPE OS R 5G 0 TTHO AD N B TU R AN Y I V E R S A R Y DULLES AIRPORT 50TH ANNIVERSARY
ive years after construction began, Dulles International Airport opened for business in 1962. The terminal cost $108.3 million to build and measured 600 feet long—representing only half of architect Eero Saarinen’s vision as the original 1,240 feet was deemed too costly at the time. Construction required excavation of 11.5 million cubic yards of earth, and when it was all over, the airport had two parallel north-south runways that were each 11,500 feet long and 150 feet wide. A third northwest-southeast runway was shorter at 10,000 feet but just as wide. Also opening at the same time was a 13.5-mile limited access highway known as the Dulles Access Road, which connected the airport to the Capital Beltway and Rt. 123 in McLean. Acknowledging his predecessor’s role in starting the airport, President John F. Kennedy invited President Eisenhower to the Nov. 17official dedication ceremony. The event was attended by thousands of spectators, including the family of John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower’s late secretary of state for whom the airport was named. At the ceremony, Kennedy complimented Eisenhower and Gen. Elwood “Pete” Quesada, a WWII fighter pilot and Eisenhower’s special adviser on aviation, “not merely because they saw the necessity of Washington having a jet airport, and not merely because they determined on a most appropriate name, but also because they chose a design and an architect, and builders, which made this a distinguished ornament of a great country and a great governmental system,” he said, according to The American Presidency Project.
“Most of all, I want to commend those who’ll be working here, those who fly our planes, those who man those planes, those members of the Immigration Service who will be the first Americans that visitors will see here in the United States. And I hope it will be possible, building on what has been done here at Dulles Airport, that we will make sure that all of our airports and all of our piers at the seas, and all of the people who work on them, show a face of America to the world which is our best face,” Kennedy said. Two days after that ceremony, the first commercial flight arrived when Eastern Airlines brought in passengers from Newark International Airport in New Jersey. Other airlines that served Dulles that year were American, Braniff, Delta, TWA and Northwest Orient. Built to accommodate 6 million passengers a year, the airport served 52,846 passengers in its inaugural year. Steady growth occurred and four years later, it was handling more than 1 million passengers. The airport did not only attract travelers, however. “This was a huge dating location,” said former Dulles Airport Manager Keith Meurlin, who grew up in an Air Force family traveling the world and ended up in Falls Church. “When I first came here at the base of the tower, there was a really first-class, white linen tablecloth, sterling silver restaurant, The Portals. And you’d see kids from the area come here for prom—there was no place else to go. They’d come out here with their dates and you’d see them in their tuxes and their gowns, and they’d be in there having dinner. It was really pretty fancy. It was a destination.” — Therese P. Howe
This photo courtesy of the Washington Airports Task Force Photos below, courtesy of the Rust Archive, Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg
Courtesy of the Washington Airports Task Force
The second decade of Dulles Airport was marked by the arrival of new wide-body aircraft and supersonic transports such as the British Airways and Air France Concordes, above.
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he 1970s started auspiciously, when First Lady Pat Nixon ushered in the era of jumbo jets and christened Pan Am’s Boeing 747 at Dulles in January 1970. Two years later, Dulles hosted the U.S. International Transportation Exposition, a nine-day international show designed to showcase the latest transportation technologies. It was promoted as the world’s largest air show featuring the new wide-body planes, high speed trains and the latest automated transit systems. More aviation firsts were to come, with Concorde supersonic service starting in 1976. On May 24 of that year, a British Airways Concorde from London and an Air France Concorde from Paris flew into Dulles, where they were posed nose-to-nose for photos. It was the culmination of years of controversy over the supersonic transport aircraft over concerns about noise levels. The federal government, which still owned Dulles at the time, ordered an 18-month trial that involved setting up instruments at Sully Plantation to gauge the noise levels and vibrations, said Washington Airports Task Force President Leo Schefer, who was involved in the Concorde program at the time. “This 18-month trial scientifically showed that all these claims were totally false,” he said, adding that the data indicated that “the vacuum cleaners at Sully Plantation created more vibration than the Concorde did.” As new aircraft were introduced, capital
improvements continued. The projects in this period included the opening of Air Cargo Building 2 and the Marriott Hotel in 1970 and later in the decade, the expansion of the north side of the jet ramp and first air traffic control tower. In 1978, construction also began on additions to the main terminal. That year signaled the start of a challenging period for Dulles, as the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 allowed airlines to choose which cities they would service, prompting many to leave Dulles. Where airlines under federal regulations were once required to serve cities directly on direct routes, deregulation spawned the modern “hub-and-spoke” network in which airlines use a central airport from which they provide routes to other cities. “Now the airlines were allowed to fly where they wanted to domestically based on market demand, there was no regulatory body telling them where to go or what to charge,” Schefer explained. “So the airlines started leaving Dulles and going to National Airport. And Dulles dropped from around 4 million passengers down to 2 million passengers.” The airport served between 2 and 3 million passengers annually through the 1970s, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and it wasn’t until the middle of the following decade that “the true vision of Dulles began to emerge,” according to MWAA’s web site. — Therese P. Howe
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ith the departure of many airlines from Dulles because of deregulation, the airport was quite deserted in the late ‘70s into the early 1980s. It was so unused, in fact, that organizations were allowed to use the facility, according to WATF President Leo Schefer. Two examples he cited were a black-tie dinner on the concourse held by the Fairfax Chamber, which had Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th District) as the guest of honor, and a fly-in by British Aerospace, now BAE Systems. While passenger service languished, construction projects in this period include new passenger waiting areas on the upper level of the terminal, the first economy parking lots, more cargo buildings and temporary midfield concourses C and D. Other milestones beyond the airport in this decade included the completion of the Dulles Access extension to I-66 and construction of the parallel lanes that would become the Dulles Toll Road, marking the start of development along the Dulles Corridor. Things would come to a head soon, however, as National Airport started becoming overly congested. “A chap called Carrington Williams who had retired from the Virginia General Assembly and who had a hand in creating the Virginia Port Authority as a legislator, retired back to his home of Northern Viriginia and found this battle raging over National Airport,” Schefer recalled. “He saw this beautiful facility out in the sticks which nobody was using, and he said if National’s the problem, Dulles is the solution. So he set about getting a program in place to get Dulles Airport developed as the solution.” To pull off that program, Williams pulled together civic, elected and business leaders, and together they formed the Washington Airports Task Force in 1982 to market Dulles to the airlines. Besides marketing to the airlines, the group’s early efforts also focused on encouraging the Smithsonian to expand the National Air and Space Museum to expand to Dulles. The museum was offered the Space Shuttle Enterprise but they had nowhere to put it, according to Schefer. “Sandy Murdock, acting deputy director of the FAA at the time, said to [then Museum Director] Walter Boyne, ‘Accept, we’ll find somewhere to put it,’” Schefer said, and the Enterprise arrived in June 1983 aboard a modified Boeing 747. “It provided an icon to keep people working to expand the museum but it still took them until 2003 until it was on display,” he added. Back on the runways, another result of deregulation was the
rise of small startup airlines, such as New Deregulation was followed by the departure of many York Air and Presidential Airways, which attempted to create hubs at Dulles. It established airlines from Dulles and the advent of new created a highly competitive environment startup airlines such as People Express Airlines. of airfare wars, and “there was a period Below: Then Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole, where if we persuaded Presidential Airwith Congresman Frank Wolf in the middle, cuts the ways to fly a new route, within a couple of ribbon at a ceremony transferring Dulles and National days Continental would announce lower from the federal government to a new regional body called fares and triple the number of flights to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. try and push the airline out. And then Photos courtesy of the Washington Airports Task Force United would come about a month later with lower fares and even more service,” Schefer recalled. “We called it the battle for the hub. United won, they drove Continental back to Newark.” In the end, neither New York Air nor Presidential Airways survived, but their efforts “proved the market was here,” Keith Meurlin said. He became airport manager in 1985, a year after the airport was renamed Washington Dulles International Airport. Dulles. “He was elected on a platform That year was a pivotal one, as it of doing something about National was then that Secretary of Transportation with Dulles as the solution, and ever Elizabeth Dole formed a commission since he has been a big helper of the airto divest the airports from the federal port and of Dulles Rail. We would not government, which was unable to fund have as a region been doing what’s been necessary improvements at the facilities. achieved without Frank Wolf, across “They’d really been suffering for 20 party lines, doing what was needed,” years from neglect and it became really Schefer said. apparent that parts of Dulles needed to The commission completed its be rebuilt and modernized in order to work and in October 1986 President meet demand,” Schefer said. “So the next Reagan signed legislation that included task was to get the airports away from the Metropolitan Washington Airports the federal government into the hands of Act. Less than a year later, in June 1987, both National and Dulles an independent regional body which could float loans, issue bonds, were transferred to the newly formed Washington Metropolitan fund improvements to the airports and also market them.” Airports Authority. Among the more influential members of Dole’s commission was — Therese P. Howe a new Republican congressman, Frank Wolf, whose district included
t wasn’t until the 1990s that Dulles began to take off as an international airport. At the beginning of the decade, Dulles served 1.4 million international passengers and by 1999, more than 3.5 million international travelers passed through the gates. Overall, passenger numbers increased 65 percent from 1996 to 1999, when Dulles had almost 20 million travelers. The growth, however, was not smooth. Instead, “it grows in fits and starts. It’s a series of peaks and valleys,” WATF President Leo Schefer said. “The peaks comes from an airline deciding it wants to be king of Dulles and moving in with a lot of service, high frequency and low fares designed not to make money but to push the other guys out. They nearly succeed in doing it, then they drop things back so you get the valley.” Nevertheless, the result has been very steady growth. One of the primary drivers behind this growth was the debut of Open Skies agreements, which eased regulations imposed by international bilateral programs that determined airline service between cities. The bilateral agreements determine “which city pairs could be served, which airlines were allowed to fly, in some instances how frequent the flights could be, how many passengers were carried, even what the
fares could be,” Schefer said. To accommodate all the growth, Dulles underwent a major Capital Development Program, according to MWAA’s website. The program, the website says, included the expansion of the main terminal in 1996 to Eero Saarinen’s original vision of 1,240 feet in length; an International Arrivals Building that provided Federal Customs and Border Protection, Agriculture and Immigration Service; permanent concourses; cargo buildings to accommodate the double digit growth in that sector; roadways and overpasses; aircraft gates and aprons for additional aircraft parking: more parking lots; and taxiway and runway improvements. In anticipation of even more growth in the coming years, in 1999 the airport purchased 1,000 acres for future expansion. In May of that year, Dulles hosted the U.S. commemoration of the Berlin Airlift, the yearlong American and British relief effort to air-drop more than 2 million tons of food and supplies to the blockaded city. Other notable events in the 1990s include the retirement of a reconnaissance aircraft SR71 Blackbird, which broke four speed records on its flight from California in March 1990 and the first Dulles Plane Pull charity event in 1993. — Therese P. Howe
Courtesy of the Washington Airports Task Force
A Capital Development Program in the 1990s included the addition of several new cargo buildings, including the one above, to accommodate the double digit growth in cargo. In 1990, 386 million pounds of mail and freight flew into Dulles compared with 792 million pounds in 1999. Today, there are seven cargo buildings on the property with more than 540,000 square feet of operational space.
D U L L E S A ILREPE OS R 5G 0 TTHO AD N B TU R AN Y I V E R S A R Y DULLES AIRPORT 50TH ANNIVERSARY
2000 and beyond
he first year of the new millennium saw the airport service 20 million passengers, almost 4 million of which were international travelers. Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, however, passenger travel plunged by 3 million at the lowest point in 2003, but has returned to above the 20 million mark. International travel in particular has seen steady growth, with 6.5 million international passengers going through Dulles last year. This year, travelers have even more international options with daily service now being offered to Dubai on Emirates Airlines; Mexico City on Aeromexico; Toronto on Porter; and Doha, Manchester, Dublin and San Salvador on United, according to MWAA. Next year, daily nonstop service will begin on Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi, bringing the total number of weekly Middle Eastern flights to 41—more than the number at John F. Kennedy, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said in a feature commemorating the airport’s 50th anniversary. In anticipation of the continued growth, MWAA in 2000 launched a second major capital improvements program called the Dulles Development, or D2, program. It which included the construction of a new FAA traffic control tower; a fourth runway; renovation of the main terminal; two daily parking garages providing 8500 new spaces; a fourth runway; new security mezzanines; and an AeroTrain System that replaced most of the mobile lounges. The latter project cost $1.7 billion and was completed in 2009. “We had three different systems of tunneling going on at once, and we had a big tunnel machine for some of it. We had holes all over the airport where we would drop the things down,” Ken Vogel, MWAA’s construction manager from 1989 to 2010, said. “We had a tunnel boring machine under the runway so we didn’t have to disrupt operations.” Among his favorite memories of his work at Dulles was finally getting the AeroTrain vehicles from overseas. “I think my trip to Japan to accept the first model of the train car was the highlight of my work [at MWAA],” Vogel said. “When we finished the train system it was really just hard work getting the thing to run right, just because those systems are inherently a problem because they’re so complicated. So we had to try three times to get that thing going. Finally on the third try we met the reliability standards.” In other preparations for future growth, MWAA purchased 830 more acres in 2005 and then three years later, accepted control of the Dulles Toll Road from the Virginia Department of Transportation in the first step to build a 23-mile extension of the Metrorail to include a stop at Dulles. Looking to the future, airport officials have been focusing on growing its cargo industry, and with more than 400 acres of land available for development, Dulles is in a unique position among airports on the East Coast to do so. Although the question of necessary road improvements around the airport has not been answered, “I think we will see cargo grow,” Washington Airports Task Force President Leo Schefer said. “And if we find ways to make cargo grow here, then we will have created a key ingredient to attract … very high-tech manufacturing, which can bring back manufacturing to this country,” he said, adding that the subsequent growth will be found not just in Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax but in areas three hours away. “Whether that three hour drive will get you to Prince Truss erecting cement spans near I-495 William or to Charlotas part of the Dulles Metrorail project tesville will be a function the surface transportation system.” Beyond the airport borders but still on its property, another major project is in the works: a 23mile Metrorail extenCourtesy of MWAA sion into Loudoun County, with a stop at the airport. The first phase of the project, which is expected to cost $2.9 billion, extends the Orange Line from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue in Reston. Phase 2 will create six more stations from Reston Town Center through Herndon and Dulles Airport, then on to Rt. 606 and Rt. 772 in Ashburn. — Therese P. Howe
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Space Shuttle Discovery piggybacks to Dulles in April 2012
Leesburg Today Archive
This photo and above left: Tunneling takes place throughout airport property for the AeroTrain System as part of the D2 Program.
In 1962 when Dulles first opened, planes parallel-parked nose to tip and mobile lounges were used to ferry passengers from the main terminal to the planes. Today, planes park perpendicular to the gates at midfield concourses.
Four photos at right courtesy of Washington Airports Task Force
Dulles is one of the few airports in the country that has daily service on the Airbus A380, , according to MWAA.
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EP ES D U L L E S A LI R OB R UT R5G0 TT HO D A AN YN I V E R S A R Y DULLES AIRPORT 50TH ANNIVERSARY
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B TU R5 G DN AY D U L L E S A ILRE PE OS R 0 TTHO A N I V E R S A R Y DULLES AIRPORT 50TH ANNIVERSARY
NOVEMBER 30, 2012 NOVEMBER 29, 2012
Anniversary Gala Celebration at Dulles On Nov. 16, the airport’s main terminal was transformed into a banquet room and dance hall, where more than 500 members of the Committee for Dulles, Washington Airports Task Force, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and their guests celebrated the airport’s 50th anniversary. Photography this page and opposite by Howard Lansat Photography
A beloved icon in the local aviation community for her work with the Committee for Dulles, writer and publicist Mary Waters hadn’t flown in an airplane many times before she got involved with the organization promoting the new airport back in the mid ‘60s. That changed with a phone call from a local businessman who owned Arrowhead Farm, a cattle ranch on the edge of the airport, and who ended up being one of the founders of the committee. “Hal Launders called me one day and said, ‘I’m going to put together a meeting and I need you to help me send out invitations, announcements, et cetera et cetera, and it’s going to be about this new airport we’re going to have out here.’ … So I remember putting together the invitations and the announcements, and I went to the first one and I’ve been going ever since.”
She became a networking powerhouse for the group, bringing in business executives from a variety of industries and mentoring other professional women who have gone on to lead successful businesses, such as Reston Limousine CEO Kristina Bouweiri and Bridgman Communications owner Georgia Graves. Now 82, Waters lives at Inova’s nursing facility on its Cornwall campus in Leesburg. She attended the 50th Anniversary gala celebration, where dozens of well-wishers came up to her to share memories and extend invitations to return to her old haunts. “One guy came up to me and he said,’Oh I’m so and so from the Hyatt and I was told to come and say hi and tell you to come back to the Hyatt.’ I used to give them a lot of business because we mostly had our meetings in the hotels. Everybody seemed to be having a rip-roaring good time,” she said. — Therese P. Howe
Howard Lansat and Mary Waters
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SB DA D U L L E S A IL RE PE O RU T R5 G0 TTHO A N YN I V E R S A R Y DULLES AIRPORT 50TH ANNIVERSARY
This photo and photo below are courtesy of the U.S. Air Force Pipe Band
And The Band Played On
Of the guests at the Washington Dulles International Airport’s anniversary gala celebration Nov. 16, at least four had been at the opening ceremony 50 years ago. And just as they did five decades ago, they joined eight of their former colleagues in the U.S. Air Force Pipe Band in performing for an audience at the airport. Back in 1962, they and their band members had just formed as an independent unit of the U.S. Air Force Band after debuting in 1950 as part of the Air Force Drum & Bugle Corps. “Not all of them were at Dulles that day but they all performed with President Kennedy” at various events, Georgia Graves of Bridgman Communications said. Graves is on the Committee for Dulles Board of Directors and organized the band’s return to Dulles for the celebration. “This was an incredible opportunity for them to come together and many of them hadn’t seen each other since we [celebrated the airport’s 40th anniversary] 10 years ago,” Graves said. The band was stationed at Bolling Air Force Base and played at hundreds of events around the world before being disbanded in 1970 because of budget cuts. “I think what was amazing to the general public was the quality in their performance, the high execution and just the incredible talent. Most of them are teachers and they’re still playing,” she said. Among the 12 performers playing at the event were band leaders Pipe Major Sandy Jones and Lead Drummer John Bosworth. In addition to their performance at the gala, the band played the next day for the general public at the airport on its official opening date, Nov. 17. After the performance, the group was treated to wine at Fabbioli Celllars and then dinner at the Rail Stop Restaurant in the Plains, owned by Tommy Kee, former chef for Robert Duvall. During their stay, the band also visited Bolling Air Force Base, where they had been stationed decades ago. “Some of them hadn’t been back in over 35 years,” Graves said. “There was a military officer standing by this large glass case and he pointed out to these gentlemen as they were looking into it, ‘This is the drum that was played at John F. Kennedy’s funeral.’ And I said, ‘Sir, this is the man who played it and he donated it.’” Graves noted that the band’s presence and performance would not have occurred had it not been for the generosity of several sponsors. “We are extremely grateful to Kristina Bouweiri, CEO of Reston Limousine, and Kurt Krause, general manager of the National Conference Center. Kristina provided full transportation from the moment the band arrived on Nov. 13 through all the practices and performances till they departed on Sunday Nov. 18. Kurt accommodated the members and support staff with rooms and meals throughout their stay.” Other supporters included United Airlines, air transportation sponsor; Unanet, historic sponsor; Howard Lansat Photography; and Northrop Grumman, uniform sponsor. — Therese P. Howe
Howard Lansat Photography
D U L L E S A ILRE PE OS R 0 TTHO A N I V E R S A R Y B TU R5 G DN AY DULLES AIRPORT 50TH ANNIVERSARY
NOVEMBER 30, 2012 NOVEMBER 29, 2012
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