State of the County video highlights growth, challenges

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) released her annual State of the County video Feb. 20.

In the 20-minute video, Bulova highlights redevelopment and growth efforts across the county, including Tysons Corner, Merrifield, the Springfield Mall area, Lorton and Fort Belvoir. She also discusses the challenge the board will face preparing the fiscal 2014 budget. The video is available on YouTube and will air on the county’s cable station, Channel 16.

With 42 million passengers, National, Dulles set records

More than 42 million passengers traveled through the region’s airports in 2012, according to an annual report from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority released Feb. 20.

Included in the total are 19.7 million passengers at Reagan National and 6.7 million international passengers at Dulles International, both of which are records for the airports. Domestic passenger travel at Dulles declined slightly.

“Dulles continues to lead the way as the region’s premier international gateway,” Jack Potter, airports authority president and chief executive, said in a statement. “Overall, Washington’s airports grew in passenger service during 2012. This puts us in a very good position for continued success.”

National’s passenger traffic increase of 4.1 percent exceeded the U.S. industry growth average of less than 1 percent, which the authority credits to new service added at the airport last year.

International passenger travel grew by 2 percent at Dulles, the ninth consecutive year of growth since 2003. In 2012, Dulles added more than 70 international flights per week.

On March 31, Etihad will add daily service to Abu Dhabi, making Dulles the second-largest U.S. gateway to the Middle East. Dulles will add Brussels Airlines in mid-2013 and new service on United to Guatemala, Costa Rica and Vancouver, British Columbia.

County gets parkland in Mount Vernon, Braddock, Springfield

The Fairfax County Park Authority recently acquired several parcels of parkland in the Braddock, Mount Vernon and Springfield districts.

The acquisitions include donations and property transfers. The seven parcels total a little more than 32 acres and bring the Park Authority’s land holdings up to 23,228 acres.

John McPherson donated five parcels totaling about 14 acres within the Paul Springs Stream Valley in the Mount Vernon District. The parcels are undeveloped, protected areas within the flood plain, and are adjacent to Paul Spring Parkway. They are next to existing Park Authority land and will increase connectivity within the stream valley park.

The Kings West community donated the former Kings West Swim Club in the Braddock District. The 8.9-acre property is mostly within the resource protection area of Rabbit Branch. The land will be returned to its natural state.

The Lincoln Lewis Vannoy facility in Springfield consists of two properties. The first, a 31-acre parcel, was transferred in 2011. The second parcel had to be subdivided before it could be transferred, with the Board of Supervisors retaining 5.2 acres adjacent to Braddock Road and 9.5 acres going to the Park Authority.

— Fairfax County Times