9 Things You May Not Know About Washington DCA Airport.

Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport DCA

Located just three miles south of downtown D.C., Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, often referred to as Washington DCA, is a convenient option for getting to and from the nation’s capital.


Here are some interesting facts you might not know about DCA:

  1. Construction on Washington National Airport, as it was known then, began in November 1938. President Franklin D. Roosevelt selected the site.
  2. Most of the site was underwater, and nearly 20 million cubic yards of gravel and sand were added.
  3. Part of the airport is also on the former location of Abingdon Plantation, which was the birthplace of George Washington’s granddaughter, Eleanor Parke Custis. The plantation was destroyed by fire in 1930, but the ruins were stabilized and are open to the public. Artifacts from the plantation are on display in Terminal A.
  4. The airport opened in June 1941, and President Roosevelt attended the opening ceremony.
  5. During the first year of operation, more than two million people visited the airport, which had an observation terrace. Of those, 344,257 were passengers.
  6. The airport name was changed to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in 1998, to honor the former president. President Bill Clinton signed the legislation authorizing the change on President Reagan’s 87th birthday.
  7. Along with Dulles airport, Washington DCA is part of a two-airport system providing domestic and international flights for the metro D.C. area.
  8. Washington DCA is intended to primarily serve as a “short-haul” airport, offering nonstop flights to destinations within a 1,250 mile perimeter of Washington, D.C. There are exceptions, however, including daily flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle. Longer flights and international flights are served by Dulles.
  9. The airport has 44 gates and almost 100 restaurants and shops.


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