history of MWAA

Before June 7, 1987, Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airports were owned and operated by our federal government located right here in the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C. The government agency in charge of the two Airports used to be the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 1986, the government decided that these two Airports should be managed like many other airports in this country. The Airports should no longer be run by the government but should instead be run independently.


Today, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) controls both Airports. A 17-member Board of Directors governs MWAA, with five members appointed by the Governor of Virginia, three by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, two by the Governor of Maryland and three by the President of the United States. MWAA is now the “renter” of the Airport properties and the old owner, the FAA, is now the “landlord.” MWAA has pledged to operate and improve the Airports until the year 2067!

A Photo of History Being Made in Your Lifetime!
A Photo of History Being Made in Your Lifetime! 
Do you recognize the two gentlemen signing the papers
in the center of this photo?
This is a photo of then Governor Mark Warner of Virginia on the right and Mayor Anthony Williams of the District of Columbia on the left! This photo was taken in 2003 when they extended MWAA’s lease to operate the Airports until 2067!

The Airports do not get all of their money from the government anymore. Instead MWAA uses aircraft landing fees, revenues from parking and money from sales of food, gifts and other things at the stores and eateries within the Airports to operate. With the money that it makes, MWAA strives to achieve its mission: to plan, provide, and actively manage world-class access to the global aviation system in a way that anticipates and serves the needs of the National Capital Area.