Frequently Asked Questions about the Airports Authority

Please click here for questions about Reagan National Airport

Please click here for questions about Dulles International Airport

What is the Airports Authority?

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is an independent body created by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia. It has been approved by the U.S. Congress to operate and maintain Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. The Authority is a public body, corporate and politic and is independent of all other bodies. It is not an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia or the District of Columbia, nor is it a federal agency.

What should I do if I want to work for the Airports Authority?

The Authority accepts applications for positions posted on the MWAA website.

For both Airports, please see this link to find applications and job openings and to complete your application online. The 24-hour Job Information Line number is 703-417-8366.

The mailing address for Human Resources is:

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Employment Dept. MA-510
1 Aviation Circle
Washington, D.C. 20001-6000

Who do I contact about advertising at the Airports?

For advertising opportunities at Reagan National and Dulles International Airports, please contact Stacey Kodak with JCDecaux Airports, Inc. at 646-834-1327 or via e-mail

Under which conditions did the Authority assume control of the Airports?

The U.S. government owns most of the airport property. Pursuant to a lease signed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the Authority, the U.S. Department of Transportation transferred control of the Airports to the Authority on June 7, 1987, for a 50-year period; in 2003, the lease was extended an additional 30 years. The lease established the terms and conditions of the Authority's control of the Airports, most significantly, that the property be used only for "airport purposes."

Where does the Authority get its funding?

Airport revenues from aircraft landing fees, rents and airport concession fees support the Authority. While it does receive federal and state grants for construction projects like any other U.S. airport, the Authority receives no taxpayer funds or appropriations from any government for its operating costs. The Airports also collect a $4.50 passenger facility charge for each passenger for spending only on government-authorized projects, mostly for capacity and safety.

Where can I find the laws creating and regulating the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority?

The Authority was created by enactments of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Virginia legislation can be found in the Virginia Code, Title 5.1, Sections 5.1-152 through 5.1-178. The District of Columbia legislation, which is identical to the Virginia legislation, can be found in D.C. Code, Sections 9-901, et seq. The federal law that authorized the Authority's creation can be found at 49 U.S.C. § 49101, et seq. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Regulation (MWAR) can be found at this link.

Both Airports are physically located in Virginia, but have Washington, D.C., mailing addresses. Where are the Airports located legally?

Reagan National: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is located in Virginia. Federal law and Virginia Code both state the airport is "situated within the Commonwealth of Virginia" (see 59 Stat. 552 (1945); 1950 Va. Code Sec 7.1-10 (1983)). There are also court decisions holding the airport is located in Virginia (see Pfister v. Director, Office of Workers Compensation, etc., 675 F.2d 1314, 1315-16 (D.C. Cir. 1982); and Bryan v. District of Columbia Unemployment Compensation Board, 342 A.2d 45 (D.C. Ct. App. 1975)).

Dulles: Washington Dulles International Airport was built on Virginia land acquired by the federal government.

When the federal government operated the Airports prior to 1987, both had a Washington, D.C. postal address. To help identify the service area more easily for travelers, the Authority did not change the addresses.

What is the Dulles Access Highway and who can use it?

The highway was built to serve Dulles Airport users and, by federal law and Authority regulation, it is restricted to airport users (as stated in Metropolitan Washington Airports Regulations, §4.2).  The access highway is Authority property, and the Authority Police have primary police jurisdiction along with the Fairfax County Police and the Virginia State Police.

Who has jurisdiction over the Dulles Toll Road?

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates and maintains the Toll Road. However, the Virginia State Police, Fairfax County Police and the Airports Authority Police all have law enforcement jurisdiction on the toll road.

What is the Authority Police's jurisdiction?

Authority Police are responsible for enforcing the law of Virginia, the Authority's rules and regulations and all other applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations on Authority facilities within 300 yards of Authority facilities (Va. Code §5.1-158 (B)). This includes the Dulles Access Highway from the airport to Interstate 66 and the Dulles Toll Road. Sections of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (which is not an Authority facility) adjacent to Reagan National Airport are also within the Authority Police jurisdiction.

What is the Perimeter Rule?

Reagan National: Federal law limits aircraft flights to nonstop distances of 1,250 miles or less. In 2000, Congress permitted the FAA to allow six round-trip flights to points outside the perimeter.

Dulles: There is no perimeter rule.

What is the High Density Rule?

The High Density Rule (or "Slot" rule) is a federal regulation, 14 CFR §93.123, which limits the aircraft operations (landings or takeoffs) occurring each hour. The rule is in effect at Reagan National because of the airport's limited airfield capacity. There is no rule at Dulles because it has greater capacity.