According to the Washington, D.C., Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ronald Reagan National Airport was scheduled to reopen for commercial operations on October 4. Shuttle service to New York and Boston will resume on that day, and flights to the other six cities that usually connect with DCA will begin as soon as new security measures are in place. The bureau says this may be as soon as October 4.
Flights at DCA will resume in phases over a two-month period; "extraordinary" security measures will be in place for all approved flights, according to the bureau.
The initial two phases, as identified by President Bush, are as follows. Information about subsequent stages will be announced after initial flight operations have been reviewed.
Phase I. Initial Shuttle and Hub Connections (Duration: approximately three weeks)
-Extraordinary security measures will be in place at DCA and all connecting terminals at connecting airports (see below).
- Commercial airlines only
- Flights to eight hub airports served by six airlines, with slot restrictions determined by the Department of Transportation. The service will include:
-New York LaGuardia-Delta Shuttle and US Airways Shuttle
-Boston-Delta Shuttle, US Airways Shuttle and American
-Atlanta-Delta and US Airways
-Chicago-American and United
-Dallas-American and Delta
-Aircraft size is limited to 156 seats or less.
-Operations at DCA only between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Phase I will allow approximately 190 flights-per-day (24 percent of the 792 scheduled commercial flights prior to 9/11).
Phase II. Expanded Hub Connection (Duration: 30 to 45 days following Phase I)
-All Phase I operations and operational requirements remain in effect, with the exception that the number of flights to each location may increase to previously scheduled levels.
-Direct flights to an additional 10 cities (18 total), with locations to be determined.
If preexisting schedules were resumed, Phase II would allow approximately 450 flights-per-day (57 percent of the 792 scheduled commercial flights prior to 9/11).
Enhanced Security Measures
Security will be strengthened in numerous ways by the FAA, the Department of Defense, the Secret Service, other law enforcement agencies, the airport authorities and airlines. Many of the security measures will be visible and many will not. Examples of new security measures include:
-Implementing the Federal Air Marshals program for DCA air traffic.
-Limiting passengers carry-on baggage to one bag plus one personal item (a purse or briefcase).
-Random hand-wanding of passengers at the gate. -Identification check and boarding pass match as passengers board aircraft.
-Departures to DCA from approved cities allowed only from pre-designated, specially secured gates
-Expanded police and canine patrols of the secure areas.
-Enhanced scrutiny of vehicles and employees that enter the air operations area.
-Flight crews dedicated to DCA only, with mandatory pre-flight screening of crews.
-Requiring straight-line flight approaches and departures, temporarily discontinuing the "river visual approach" used to mitigate noise.
-DCA will implement a public security awareness program.