2013 was a record-breaking year for Reagan National

February 18

An American Airlines Boeing 737 airplane takes off from a runway at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., in this Sept. 23, 2013 file photo. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Last year, 2013, was another record-breaking year for passenger traffic at Reagan National Airport. About 20.4 million passengers flew through the airport for the third straight year of traffic growth. In 2012, 19.7 million passengers moved through National.

In contrast, Washington Dulles International Airport continues to struggle. The number of passengers flying through Dulles International Airport in 2013 declined 2.7 percent to 21.9 million from 22.6 million in 2012. While international passengers are a bright spot for the airport, domestic travel continues to lag. One reason, airlines continue to cut flights. In 2012, there were 302 daily domestic departures from Dulles International Airport; in 2013, the number of departures was 294.

Both airports were bested by Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport in 2013. About 22.5 million flew through BWI – just a tad fewer than in 2012, which was a record-setting year for the airport.

A full report on air traffic at Reagan National and Dulles International Airport will be presented at the monthly meeting of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s board of directors on Wednesday. (But if you’re interested in doing a little analysis on your own, here’s a link to the report.)

The board also is slated to get an update on the Silver Line rail project. We won’t find out when passenger service will begin (that’s for Metro officials to decide, not MWAA), but we may hear whether airport authority officials are close to signing off and handing the rail line to Metro. Once Metro officials take control of the Silver Line, they have 90 days to do their testing and training. They’ve been working concurrently with MWAA and Dulles Transit Partners (the contractor building the first phase) so it’s possible they might not need all 90 days. We’ll see.

As always I’ll be live tweeting from the board meeting (8 a.m. start!). You can follow me @loriara for all the excitement.

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
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