A construction project that will improve the passenger experience has started at Reagan National Airport. When completed, two new 75,000-square-foot security checkpoints will replace the ones now serving Terminal B/C — shifting the post-security space to include all of National Hall and its premier shops and restaurants for ticketed travelers to enjoy at their leisure. The other major component of the project, the New Commuter Concourse, will replace Gate 35X, ending the need for travelers to ride buses and brave the elements to board regional jets parked outside. The 14-gate concourse will be complete with jetbridges, spacious holdrooms and an American Airlines Admirals Club lounge.
An office building and hangars on the site of the future concourse have recently been demolished — opening up views to the north that include Washington, D.C. and its iconic monuments. The new concourse will maximize those viewing opportunities with large windows and a high-ceilinged “centrum” at the elbow where a connecting hallway meets the gates.
For now, the site is undergoing excavation and placement of a deep base layer that will compact into land that was reclaimed from the Potomac River at the airport’s original construction. Passengers may see site work taking place behind fences as they board remotely-parked planes, exit the airport by car or peer through aircraft windows on landing or takeoff. Until the new concourse is complete — estimated for 2021 — planes serving Gate 35X will park around the perimeter of the project site.
Changes are also coming in front of Terminal B/C that will lay the groundwork for construction of the two new security checkpoints over the Arrivals roadway. At first, the preparatory activity will be limited to overnight periods when airport traffic is minimal. Contractors will scan for underground utility lines then excavate to pour new foundations. By summer, it is expected that nighttime lane closures in this area will extend into daytime periods — constricting the space drivers may use to pick up airline passengers.
To mitigate potential traffic jams, initial road work will include adding new drive lanes before and after Terminal B/C, plus three new crossovers between roadways to add the option of moving traffic away from bottlenecks. As construction increases and traffic slows, airport police will deploy extra personnel and signage and regulate traffic around the airport. Passengers can also reduce and avoid congestion by taking Metrorail or using parking garages instead of driving in circles. Although the first steps may prove the most challenging, the journey to a better passenger experience has begun at Reagan National.
Keys to a Better Journey at Reagan National
As construction increases in front of Terminal B/C, consider these tips:
- Be the first to know. Sign up for construction alerts.
- Use Metrorail. The airport station is conveniently located with indoor walkways to Terminal B/C and a free shuttle bus ride or 15-minute walk to Terminal A.
- Picking someone up? Use airport parking garages. Minimizing traffic through the Arrivals roadway will reduce the severity of congestion when roadwork and traffic reach their peak. If your party isn’t ready for pickup, park — don’t circle around and around the roads.
- We’re here to help. Remember to observe construction signs and follow police direction. Some routine traffic patterns will temporarily change to keep the airport operating as smoothly as possible.