A bill has been introduced in Congress to extend part of the eastern boundary of Dulles International Airport to the Capital Beltway, 14 miles from the airport terminal building.
The bill would legally make the Dulles access highway, which extends from the terminal building to the beltway near Tysons Corner, an official part of the airport reservation.
The reason for the proposal is to clarify the legal right of the Federal Aviation Administration police force to patrol and make arrests along the access highway. The FAA owns both the airport and the highway.
In a letter asking Congress to pass a new law on the matter, Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams said that a federal court ruled in 1965 that the FAA police had no right to make an arrest along the road because it was not actually a part of the airport.
The FAA, an arm of the Transportation Department, got around the court decision by having all its airport police officers sworn in as special deputy, U.S. marshals, giving them power to make arrests on all federal property.
However Adams wrote,those special commissions as deputy marshals must be renewed every six months, and it costs $2,600 a year in overtime to pay the police officers to go to the federal courthouse in Alexandria to take their oaths.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Warren G. Magnuson (D-Wash.) and Sen. James B. Pearson (R-Kans), and will be considered by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.