Yet More DC Self-Cronyism: Further Overfilling Over-Filled Reagan Airport
I was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Which is just across the Potomac River from the heart of Darkness – Washington, DC.
Alexandria is also where Ronald Reagan (née) National Airport (DCA) was born and raised. Which has always posed a bit of a national security problem.
Having an international airport just across the Potomac River from the heart of Darkness – Washington, DC? Is not the best idea.
So in 1962, John Foster Dulles Airport (IAD) was born – in Loudon County, in western Virginia. About an hour’s drive from DC – if you drive it at three in the morning. Otherwise you’re at almost two hours.
The point being: IAD is more sufficiently removed than DCA from the heart of Darkness – Washington, DC.
We were told the original plan was – to wind down and close DCA. Except those of us who know DC and its denizens – knew this was NEVER going to happen.
There is NO WAY DC’s very many bureaucrats will put up with hour-plus commutes to get on planes to leave the place.
So sixty-one years later? DC still has THREE international airports. Because lest we forget: There is also Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) – born in 1950 (as Friendship International Airport).
And because DC continues to perpetually cater to itself?
“The FAA authorization bill perfectly illustrates priorities on Capitol Hill….
“Flying these days is as enjoyable as a trip to the dentist, so it’s nice to see Members of Congress try to improve the experience . . . for themselves.
“The House this week plans to vote on legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration. Reforms are taking a middle seat in a fight over flight changes at Congress’s home airport.
“A 1966 rule intended to help the Washington, D.C., region’s Dulles International Airport limits flights to Reagan National Airport beyond a 1,250-mile perimeter. Reagan National is a 20-minute drive to the Capitol, while Dulles is an hour or more.
“The two airports now serve roughly the same number of passengers, but Members of Congress from the East Coast oppose scrapping the rule.
“They fear that increasing long-distance flights at Reagan National will result in more congestion and delays.
“But as the population in the South and West has grown, so has the number of Congress-folk from outside the Reagan National perimeter. They want to hop off a flight and scoot to work.”
So: There’s a nearly-sixty-year-old rule that limits the number of flights to DCA – by limiting the distance from which the flights can come.
And our exalted Members of Congress from beyond that limit – want to kill the rule. So as to make their commuting lives easier.
Except it will make our commuting lives – exponentially harder.
Because DCA is already, perpetually WAY over capacity – and way under-performing.
Last summer – when Congress was almost entirely not even in session – DCA was the third worst airport nationally for cancellations and delays.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that adding 25 round trip operations a day – would increase delays at DCA by 33.2%.
Which would stink out loud for all of us. But why would Members of Congress care at all about us now? They haven’t cared at all about us for decades.
And by the way: Alexandria – the city in which DCA exists – is also already, perpetually WAY over capacity.
“Amazon HQ2 is Amazon’s corporate headquarters in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia and is an expansion of the company’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
“Phase I, which has capacity for 14,000 employees, is expected to open in June 2023.
Under the current flight rule, Seattle is outside the DCA flight distance limit. So Amazon’s mass-shuttling back and forth between HQs – won’t further over-congest DCA.
But change the current flight rule? And Amazon dumps its mass transit into DCA – on top of everyone else’s.
So Members of Congress will benefit. A Big Government uber-crony – Amazon – will benefit.
And the rest of us will get screwed.
In other words: Yet more DC business as usual.