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Washington, D.C. Airports

Author: Amelia Wright

How Many Airports are There in Washington, D.C.?

While Washington D.C. is smaller than any state by its size and population, it stays one of the most visited U.S. destinations. The federal district can be accessed through any of the three airports having the name «Washington.» A fun fact is that none of the Washington DC airports are located within the district’s boundaries. Each airport has its own unique characteristics. For example, Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) accepts and sees off the majority of international flight routes but is located quite far from Washington downtown (26 miles). The airport is situated in Northern Virginia, districts Loudoun and Fairfax.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is focused mainly on domestic flights with only a small share of international destinations. It’s located in Arlington, Northern Virginia, and is the closest to Washington (5.2 miles).

Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) is the furthest from downtown among all airports near Washington DC. You’ve got to cover almost 30 miles to get there. Still, it’s quite busy with 650 flights operations daily and might offer the most suitable timing for anyone.

3 Major Airports in Washington, D.C.

  • 1. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). The busiest among the airports in Washington DC, BWI had an 11,204,511 passenger count in 2020. Over 99% traveled to and from the cities within the States (99.63%).
  • 2. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). 8,333,460 passengers took international (24%) and domestic (76%) flights. From IAD, you can currently reach 79 domestic and 43 foreign destinations. 29 international and 6 US-based airlines offer their nonstop service to and from IAD.
  • 3. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Out of 7,574,966 travelers passing the DCA gateways in 2020, 0.9% took international flights. There are 7 US and 1 foreign airline scheduling nonstop flights to and from the airport.

Which is the Best Airport to Fly to Washington D.C.?

The choice for the optimal landing or take-off place among the Washington DC national airports depends on your destination and needs. Washington Dulles airport, though being not too close to D.C., It’s, furthermore, the third by size among the U.S. airports and offers multiple facilities for travelers.

Ronald Reagan airport is smaller but also diverse. Besides, it’s connected by direct flights with multiple US cities. It’s also four times closer to the District of Columbia and provides several transportation means to downtown.

Baltimore Washington airport is the most crowded and farthest among Washington DC airports. Meanwhile, niche airlines like Apple Vacations and Contour Airlines operate their aircraft at BWI.

National Air and Space Museum

Founded in 1946, the National Air and Space Museum has become an important educational and research center for aviation. It has multiple original or backed up by the original exhibits, including the iconic Wright Flyer, which greets visitors at the entry. The museum is visited by over 6 M people annually and is the 2nd most popular museum in the United States. In the world’s rating, it is ranked 5th. The museum’s collection gives an insight into the multiple spheres of science: geology, aeronautics, and space science. It has on display a command module of the Apollo 11, Charles Lindbergh’s monoplane, a model of the spacecraft Enterprise that participated in the Star Trek science fiction show. There are also hundreds of additional displays, including the first airplane to break the sound barrier and the capsule in which John Glenn went around the Earth.

The museum’s primary building is located in L’Enfant Plaza, with subsidiary locations at airports in Washington DC. In Washington Dulles, a whole annex of 760,000 sq ft serves as the museum display hall. The last restoration of the exhibits was performed in 2014 in Suitland, Maryland.