RELEASE: New Independent Poll Shows Majority Of Arlington Residents Support Adding More Flights At DCA

Modernizing The Perimeter Rule At DCA Will Increase Affordable, Convenient Air Travel From The National Capital Region

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Washington, D.C. – Capital Access Alliance (CAA) issued the following statement today in response to a recently published poll from Arlington, VA-based publication ARLnow, showing that more than 50 percent of residents in the Arlington region support adding more flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to meet consumer demand.

Northern Virginia is fortunate to have two great airports, but unfortunately, the current perimeter rule artificially limits competition at DCA, leading to increased costs for consumers and more connecting flights. It’s why Washington, D.C. has the most expensive domestic ticket prices among the country’s top 10 metropolitan areas,” CAA spokesperson and Northern Virginia resident Brian Walsh said.

DCA is the only airport in the country subject to a federally imposed perimeter rule established by Congress in 1966. Only seven airlines are authorized to operate just 20 daily round trips to 10 beyond-perimeter destinations – less than six percent of daily scheduled flights from DCA – making travel into and out of DCA more expensive and time consuming for residents in the Washington, D.C. region.

The bipartisan Direct Capital Access Act – or The DCA Act – recently introduced by Congressmen Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Burgess Owens (R-UT) would add 28 in- and beyond-perimeter flights at DCA in this year’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill.

Given the increased consumer demand for travel to the national capital region, it only makes sense that Congress add more in- and beyond-perimeter flights at DCA – and the poll confirms that more than half of respondents in the Arlington area support doing so,” continued Walsh. “The antiquated perimeter rule no longer serves its intended purpose and modernizing it to add more flights will help lower ticket prices and make air travel more efficient for consumers.

“The data shows that DCA is an underutilized airport and it has the capacity to easily add more flights and passengers, particularly in the wake of its $1 billion terminal expansion. The poll reinforces there is strong local support for doing just that. It’s our hope that lawmakers heed the interests of their constituents and local businesses by supporting The DCA Act and giving air travelers more choices,” Walsh concluded.

Poll published at 9:30 AM EST on Thursday, May 11, 2023; Results as of 12:00 PM EST on Monday, May 15, 2023.

Learn more about the Capital Access Alliance (CAA) here.

Learn more about the Direct Capital Access Act (DCA Act) here.