Managing KDCA

I know that there already is a topic and size restrictions for DCA right now, but I want to give a guide similar to @CamJam series he has been doing. So, here is some info on Reagan National.

  • In 2015 KDCA handled a little more than 21 million passengers, making it the second-busiest airport in the Baltimore-Washington area (in terms of passengers)
  • There is a restriction on DCA that flights both arriving and departing are not allowed to exceed 1,250 miles in any direction nonstop (there are 40 slot exemptions)
  • Any international commercial flight arriving at DCA must be originating from an airport with CBP preclearance facilities as there is no customs at the airport itself

KDCA has three terminals: Hopefully you know your alphabet A,B,C
Terminal A handles:

  • Air Canada Express
  • Southwest
  • Frontier

Terminal B handles:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • United
  • Delta

Terminal B/C (concourse in between terminal B and C) handles:

  • American
  • JetBlue

Finally, Terminal C handles:

  • American

There are no scheduled cargo operations at Reagan.

Departing:

  • Runway 1/19 and 15/33 are departing runways
  • Runway 1/19 is used for the majority of departures but occasionally a regional jet departs for 15/33
  • Runway 4/22 has been permanently shut down and will be converted to a taxiway soon, so no departures or arrivals into it
  • If departing runway 1 an immediate left turn is required to avoid restricted airspace over D.C.
  • If departing from 19 then a quick right turn is also required to stay over the river

Landing:

  • Runway 1/19 and 15/33 are arriving runways
  • Runway 1/19 is also used for the majority of arrivals but 15/33 is used sometimes for regional jets
  • If landing 19 then the River Visual is always used https://flightaware.com/resources/airport/DCA/IAP/RIVER+VISUAL+RWY+19/pdf
  • Now I am not a commercial pilot so I do not know for sure on this one If you are arriving on runway 33 then follow the Mount Vernon Visual for runway 1 until you are about 1 mile out and then turn right heading 40 and then line up on 33 quickly and land.

ATC:

  • DCA is only 10-20 feet MSL
  • All of downtown north of DCA is restricted airspace so you cannot fly above it

I think I covered everything, but please let me know if I missed anything!
Hope this is helpful!

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Very informal! Thanks! Just wondering, what airport had the most passenger traffic?

I would guess IAD…

It is actually BWI. IAD is third.

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For 2015…here’s an article…BWI was #1: https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2015/08/18/dca-pulls-ahead-of-dulles-heres-why-thats-not.html

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Last time I was at DCA, I saw a SWA 737 bound for Houston takeoff from runway 15. Must have been extremely light that day as that runway is only 5,200 feet.

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I’m not surprised BWI got first. It is serving 2 cities Baltimore and Washington D.C.

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Was just about to ask for something on my home Airport! Thanks for sharing! 👍🏻😍

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The main factor for BWI being the largest is that is has a combination of many movements plus the highest average number of passengers per aircraft in the D.C. area.

And the cheap tickets southwest offers out of BWI as it is a focus airport for SWA

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THANK YOU, I was the person who created the topic on DCA restrictions, but I would not have the time/skill needed to make this. I will refer that topic here.

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KDCA 15 is used for GPS approaches when conditions prohibit 19 Visual (both the full and shortened one). His occurs regularly.

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I’m liking it!! Keep it up <3

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