Reagan National plans $1 billion upgrade

Reagan National photo

Reagan National Airport will be getting a $1 billion facelift over the next few years to accommodate growth that has exceeded planners’ expectations. The improvements include construction of two new security checkpoints that fully connect the concourse level of Terminal B/C to airline gate areas, buildout of an enclosed commuter concourse to replace the 14 outdoor gates currently serviced by buses from gate 35X and future improvements to roadway and parking configurations.

“Reagan National’s passenger areas were designed to serve 15 million passengers annually,” said Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter. “Today, more than 23 million passengers travel through the airport—straining its infrastructure, crowding travelers and hampering our ability to provide best-in-class customer service. Project Journey will transform and improve the passenger experience.”

The airports board approved the program, dubbed Project Journey,earlier this month. Construction is expected to begin this summer.


Design has been completed for two new security checkpoints that will be constructed above the Terminal B/C arrivals roadway and connected to National Hall and walkways from the Metrorail station and parking garages. Upon activation, the new checkpoints will expand capacity from 20 to 28 security lanes, expediting the screening process and creating a seamless, free-flowing environment between Terminal B/C airline concourses and the new commuter concourse. It’s expected to alleviate gate area congestion while expanding access to shopping and dining options.

Project Journey will also replace the 14 outdoor aircraft boarding positions now accessed by bus through Gate 35X with a new commuter concourse. The concourse will provide regional travelers with direct, enclosed access to planes via jet bridges, spacious waiting and boarding areas, diverse seating options with integrated power outlets and new concessions. The concourse design includes architectural features consistent with the Terminal B/C’s exposed metal beams, glass walls and domed ceilings while maximizing open, navigable gate areas and panoramic views of downtown Washington, D.C.

The project will occur in two concurrent phases. The first, comprised of the new security checkpoints, is planned to open in 2020, while the commuter concourse is scheduled for completion in 2021.

To prepare for Project Journey construction, the Airports Authority’s headquarters staff will relocate from airport grounds to Crystal City in April. The current headquarters building, located on the site of the future commuter concourse, will be demolished.



About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.