Saturday, June 21, 2008


Washington National Airport: The departure level.
(Click on image to enlarge.)

Washington, D.C., is accessible via air from three airports: Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Loundon County, Virginia; Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia; and Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) near Baltimore, Maryland. The closest of the three is National Airport, just across the Potomac River and about six miles from downtown. The other two are each nearly 30 miles from Washington. Today's photos are from DCA.

L: View of DCA's air traffic control tower from the arrivals deck. R: Heading into the clouds.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Opened in June 1941, DCA is home to 12 carriers providing service to 74 domestic destinations and connections to several international airports within the U.S. There are no direct international flights from DCA. In 2007, 18.7 million passengers traveled through DCA. It is the third busiest airport in the D.C. Metropolitan area.

View of Runway 19 looking south from Gravelly Point.

After Sept. 11, DCA was the last airport in the nation to reopen and for a time there was some discussion that it might never reopen given its proximity to the capital city. Fortunately, reason prevailed in the former of senators and congressional representatives who use the airport for its convenience and easy access. Located at the north end of the airport is a park called Gravelly Point. It is here that you can find people parking their cars or unloading a picnic basket and enjoying the sights and sounds of planes taking off and landing.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 6/08


Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

Gravelly Point sounds a lot like Castle Island in Southie, Boston.

How's the noise level there, Janet? I've been pleasantly surprised every time I visited neighborhoods close to Logan (East Boston, in particular, which is where the airport is located).

Have a nice week end. :)

D.C. Confidential said...

Fénix: The airport authority has done a pretty good job of mapping flight routes so as to abate noise. I live about seven miles north of the airport, but I rarely here the planes unless the wind is blowing in the right direction. Right there at the point, they're pretty loud, but they do a very, very steep take off, so the noise is minimal and fades quickly.

And a happy weekend to you, too!

Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

I just looked up the Riggs Bank Building you mentioned on my blog, it's similar (if larger) to the Jurys. BTW, this Irish chain bought three hotels in DC. The Jurys Washington (1500 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W ) seems to be quite nice too.

The other day I was waiting for someone in the lobby of the Jurys and had my camera with me so I headed for the restroom :). Lovely! I'm not sure I should publish the photos - it's so nice I don't want to ruin it (some hotels are now installing guest key locks in their lobby restrooms).

The Artful Eye said...

Great photos. I particularly love the vintage/retro feel of the top image. I've always flown into Dulles-driven by airfare, because it's not convenient. I'd like to try Reagan next time.

It's crazy hot here, Death Valley hot 110 in the shade now.

Happy Summer to you!

D.C. Confidential said...

Fénix: I've seen the Jury's at 1500 NH Ave. The outside doesn't look all that impressive, but maybe the inside is better. I've never thought of photographing bathrooms before, but that's an idea... Actually, there was a blog at one time called Toilets of the World or something like that. I don't think it got very far, though.

Andrea: Dulles is completely inconvenient to where I live, but it usually has the best airfares and direct flight options, so I schlep out there despite the distance. Plus, architecturally, it's a really cool airport!

One of the reasons it's hard to find flights from the Mountain and West Coast flight zones to DCA is because DCA has what's called a "limitation restriction" and can't fly to destinations more than 1,250 miles away. A few exemptions have been made to include the following destinations: LAX, LAS, PHX, DEN, and SLC. Otherwise, most destinations are east of the Mississippi. Apparently, it's all part of noise abatement.

Lucy said...

I love the enlarged b@w of the airport. Is it my computer or is it supposed to look 3Dish. Because I really liked it like that.

D.C. Confidential said...

Lucy: I think the angle and depth of the photograph and the lighting lend it a 3D appearance. It's definitely a much more stunning photograph in B&W than in color, I can tell you that!