RELEASE: Capital Access Alliance Fact Checks Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Opposition To Strengthening Access And Affordability To National Capital Region

Responds Directly To MWAA’s Explainer On The Perimeter Rule, Questions Their Contradictory Statements

Contact:  [email protected]

Washington, D.C. – The Capital Access Alliance (CAA), a coalition of transportation and business leaders from Virginia and around the country seeking to make air travel to and from Washington, D.C. more accessible and affordable, released today a direct response to inaccurate and contradictory statements by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). MWAA staff is once again opposing improved access and affordability for air travelers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and ahead of its monthly board meeting released a two-page “explainer” on the federal perimeter rule that appears designed to mislead policymakers and the public. 

“It’s disappointing that MWAA appears more interested in protecting the status quo from the 1960s rather than modernizing an outdated policy to empower consumers, lower ticket prices and give them more choices when they fly,” said CAA spokesman and Northern Virginia resident, Brian Walsh. “Not only are some of MWAA’s assertions not true, but the statements they’re making today starkly contradict those they’ve made in just the last two years, particularly in the wake of a $1 billion terminal expansion at DCA.”

For example, in a presentation released ahead of today’s board meeting, the MWAA now claims many areas at DCA are “already at capacity.” Yet, just 18 months ago when the $1 billion “Project Journey” terminal was completed, MWAA hailed it as a gamechanger for passengers that would provide “a modernized and seamless travel experience” for passengers, including 50,000 square foot security checkpoints and “more than 10,000 square feet in additional post-security space.”

Further, a new study from one of the country’s top management consulting firms finds that the perimeter rule no longer serves its original purpose and shows that the unintended consequences are hurting the Washington, D.C. region, metropolitan communities and consumers.

“Consumer demand for travel to the National Capital Region has increased dramatically over the last six decades, yet MWAA is intent on stifling competition and opposing more choices for air travelers, while also working to block the creation of more than 1,000 local jobs in the Washington D.C. region,” continued Walsh.

Congressmen Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Burgess Owens (R-UT) recently introduced the bipartisan Direct Capital Access Act – or DCA Act – that would add 28 in-and beyond-perimeter flights at DCA. The legislation is to be considered as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, which Congress will take up later this year. The additional flights, which would be allocated among all the airlines that currently serve DCA, will help lower ticket prices and directly connect thousands more passengers to and from DCA.

“Modernizing the perimeter rule is long overdue, and the bipartisan DCA Act will improve affordable access for the national capital region’s residents and millions of Americans across the country who fly into and out of DCA every year,” concluded Walsh.

See CAA’s full redline response to MWAA HERE.

About CAA

CAA consists of diverse members from around the country and various industries, including transportation, general business groups, the small business sector, entrepreneurs and job creators, organizations focused on economic development, and leaders in the civic and policy communities. 

Learn more about Capital Access Alliance HERE.