Washington Dulles International Airport

airport in Dulles, Virginia serving the Washington Metropolitan Area in the United States

Washington Dulles International Airport (IATA: IAD, ICAO: KIAD, FAA LID: IAD) is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia. It is 26 miles (42 km) west of Washington, D.C.[3] The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington DC-Northern Virginia metropolitan area and the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles. He was the Secretary of State under Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Dulles main terminal is a well-known landmark it was designed by Eero Saarinen. The airport is run by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Dulles Airport covers an area of 11,830 acres (47.9 km2).[4] It is on the border of Fairfax County and Loudoun County, Virginia.[1]

International Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorMetropolitan Washington Airports Authority
ServesWashington metropolitan area
LocationDulles, Virginia, U.S.
OpenedNovember 17, 1962 (1962-11-17)
Hub for
Elevation AMSL313 ft / 95 m
Coordinates38°56′40″N 077°27′21″W / 38.94444°N 77.45583°W / 38.94444; -77.45583
FAA airport Diagram
FAA airport Diagram
IAD is located in Northern Virginia
Location of airport in Virginia / United States
IAD is located in Virginia
IAD (Virginia)
IAD is located in the United States
IAD (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
1L/19R 9,400 2,865 Concrete
1C/19C 11,500 3,505 Concrete
1R/19L 11,500 3,505 Concrete
12/30 10,501 3,201 Concrete
12R/30L 10,500 3,200 Planned
Statistics (2018)
Aircraft operations354,281
Total passengers36,060,709 Increase 5.1%
Source: Federal Aviation Administration,[1] Passenger traffic[2]

Dulles lies in two unincorporated communities, Chantilly and Dulles. It is west of Herndon and southwest of Sterling. Washington Dulles Airport is the largest airport in the Washington metropolitan area. It is one of the nation's busiest airports. The airport has over 23 million passengers a year. Daily, more than 60,000 passengers leave Washington Dulles to more than 125 destinations around the world.[5][6] Dulles is the busiest airport in Virginia. It is also the busiest in the Baltimore Washington Metropolitan Area. It is accessible via the Washington Metro's Silver line.

At the end of World War II, growth in aviation and in the Washington metropolitan area caused Congress to pass the Washington Airport Act of 1950. This provided the money for a second airport. The location was selected by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958.



Largest carriers

Largest Carriers at Dulles (October 2010 - September 2011) [5]
Rank Airline Passengers
1 United Airlines 9,698,380
2 Mesa Airlines (United Express, US Airways Express) 1,067,635
3 JetBlue Airways 1,050,845
4 ExpressJet Airlines (United Express) 951,085
5 Trans States Airlines (United Express) 901,528
6 American Airlines 891,974
7 Atlantic Southeast Airlines (Delta Connection, United Express 839,316
8 Colgan Air (Continental Connection, United Express) 759,520
9 Delta Air Lines 677,008
10 Southwest Airlines 640,643

All airlines




In fiction


Dulles has been used for many Washington based movies. This started soon after it opened with the 1964 movie Seven Days in May. The 1983 comedy D.C. Cab, starring Mr. T, Adam Baldwin and Gary Busey showed scenes outside of the main terminal at Dulles Airport. The action movie Die Hard 2: Die Harder takes place mainly at Dulles airport. The plot of the movie deals with the takeover of the airport's tower and communication systems by terrorists. The movie was not filmed at Dulles. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the now-closed Stapleton International Airport in Denver were used. Part of the thriller The Package (starring Gene Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones) took place at Dulles. Again it was not filmed in Dulles. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was used in its place.

Dulles airport's terminal exterior

Portions of all three sequels to the disaster film Airport were filmed at Dulles: Airport 1975, with Charlton Heston, Karen Black and George Kennedy; Airport '77, with Jack Lemmon, Christopher Lee and George Kennedy; and The Concorde ... Airport '79. Dulles was the site filmed as a New York City airport, in the 1999 comedy, Forces of Nature. The airport is also shown in the movie Body of Lies.[12] In the scene, Leonardo DiCaprio says he is in "Dubai International" on the phone. The curved roof and windows on the upper deck of the Dulles departures area can be seen behind him. The terminal can also be seen in the movie In The Line of Fire starring Clint Eastwood.

Dulles is used in many episodes of the television series The X-Files.[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 FAA Airport Master Record for IAD (Form 5010 PDF)
  2. "Dulles Air Traffic Statistics". Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. January 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  3. "Dulles International Airport". Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  4. "Facts About Washington Dulles International Airport". Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Archived from the original on 2011-06-23. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) Air Traffic Statistics". Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. "Air Service Maps - IAD". Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Archived from the original on 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  7. "Icelandair Announces Flights from Washington, D.C. - Icelandair". www.icelandair.com. Archived from the original on 2018-11-06. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  8. Inc, Porter Airlines. "News. Get the latest updates". Porter Airlines. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Safety Recommendations" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. 9 November 1981. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
  10. "Flight Path Study - American Airlines Flight 77" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. February 19, 2002.
  11. "Incident: United Airlines B772 near Washington on Aug 30th 2011, engine shut down in flight". The Aviation Herald. August 31, 2011.
  12. "Filming locations for Body of Lies". imdb.com. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  13. "X-files Transcript Search". xfroadrunners.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-06-03.

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