Friday, March 28, 2008

High Flying

Dulles International Airport (IAD):
One of D.C.'s three airports and the busiest of them all.
Taken at sunrise.

A longer exposure and slightly enhanced shot of IAD at sunrise.

Washington Dulles International Aiport (IAD) is one of three airports serving the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan corridor. In addition to Dulles, there is Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) near Baltimore and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on the Potomac River. The only advantage to picking up a friend from the airport who has flown a red-eye is the opportunity it afforded me to take pictures of one of D.C.'s most picturesque and architecturally stunning airports.

IAD is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. (His grandfather and an uncle also served as Secretaries of State under Presidents Benjamin Harrison and Woodrow Wilson, respectively.) Dulles is credited with strengthening NATO, instigating the ANZUS treaty with Australia and New Zealand, and working closely with the CIA (under the directorship of his brother, Allen Welsh Dulles) to overthrow the democratically-elected governments of Iran and Guatemala. (In hindsight and in light of recent unrest in the world, probably not the best idea, eh?) He was also a pioneer of "mutually assured destruction"--a Cold War phrase for nuking the hell out of the enemy. In many respects, Dulles' diplomacy contributed to the heightened tensions of the Cold War. At one point, he told an interviewer, "The United States doesn't have friends, it has interests." Chilling, no?

But, this is about IAD. Located on land selected by President Eisenhower, the airport is 26 miles from Washington in now-suburban Virginia. It straddles the Loudoun and Fairfax County lines, but has a Washington, D.C., address. The building was designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen and gives the suggestion of flight with its swooping roof, expansive glass exteriors, and halogen lighting. The airport was dedicated in November 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. United Airlines is the airport's busiest carrier shuttling 61% of all travelers through its gates. In 2006 alone, more than 23 million passengers* traveled through IAD.

*Compared to BWI: 20.7 million and DCA: 18.5 million.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 3/08


Lara said...

wooooow! you are getting better and better with these photos!

The Artful Eye said...

geesh... I've been so crazy busy and I'm missing all sorts of wonderful pics and still trying to wrap my head around native/exotic.

I love these pics of Dulles. Especially the second one with the longer exposure.

Tim said...

Again, beautiful shots here. Look out for an Eero Saarinen exhibit at the National Building Museum soon. I'm sure there will be some materials related to to Dulles.

D.C. Confidential said...

Tim: Good to know! I'll be sure to check it out. I need to go down and take pictures at the Building Museum anyway. (Can't believe I haven't yet.)