Washington Dulles International
Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles (41.6 km) west of
downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern
Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named
after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under Dwight D. Eisenhower. The
Dulles main terminal is a well-known landmark designed by Eero Saarinen.
Operated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Dulles Airport occupies 11,830 acres (47.9 km2) straddling the border of Fairfax County and Loudoun County, Virginia.
It is in two unincorporated communities, Chantilly and Dulles, west of Herndon and southwest of Sterling. Washington Dulles Airport is the largest airport in the Washington metropolitan area, and is one of the nation's busiest airports with over 23 million passengers a year. Daily, more than 60,000 passengers depart Washington Dulles to more than 125 destinations around the world. Dulles is the busiest airport in Virginia as well as the busiest in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
At the end of World War II, growth in aviation and in the Washington metropolitan area led Congress to pass the Washington Airport Act of 1950, providing federal backing for a second airport. After preliminary proposals failed, including one to establish an international airport at what is now Burke Lake Park, the current site was selected by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958. As a result of the selection, the former unincorporated community of Willard, which once stood in the airport's current footprint, was demolished.
The civil engineering firm Ammann and Whitney was named lead contractor. The airport was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy on November 17, 1962. Its original name, Dulles International Airport, was changed in 1984 to Washington Dulles International Airport. The main terminal was designed in 1958 by famed Finnish architect Eero Saarinen and it is highly regarded for its graceful beauty, suggestive of flight. In the 1990s, the main terminal at Dulles was reconfigured to allow more space between the front of the building and the ticket counters. Additions at both ends of the main terminal more than doubled the structure's length. The original terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan was modeled after the Saarinen terminal at Dulles.
The design included a landscaped man-made lake to collect rainwater, a low-rise hotel, and a row of office buildings along the north side of the main parking lot. The design also included a two-level road in front of the terminal to separate arrival and departure traffic and a federally owned limited access highway connecting the terminal to the Capital Beltway (I-495) about 17 miles (27 km) to the east. (Eventually, the highway system grew to include a parallel toll road to handle commuter traffic and an extension to connect to I-66). The access road had a wide median strip to allow the construction of a passenger rail line, which will be in the form of an extension of the Washington Metrorail and is expected to be completed in 2017.
Text from Wikipedia
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