Washington Dulles International Airport serves the greater Washington , D.C. metropolitan area. It is named after John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State under Dwight D. Eisenhower. It serves as a hub for United Airlines and a focus city for JetBlue Airways.
The inception of Independence Air in 2004 made Washington Dulles International Airport the fifth busiest airport in the United States and one of the top 10 busiest in the world. At its peak of 600 flights daily, Independence, combined with service from JetBlue and AirTran, briefly made Dulles the largest low-cost hub in the United States .
On a typical day, 1,800 to 2,000 flights are now handled at Dulles, up from 1000 to 1200 in 2003. Washington Dulles International Airport remains the second busiest trans-Atlantic gateway on the Eastern Seabord. Recently with the demise of Independence Air, JetBlue has slowly expanded its focus city operation at Dulles with six daily non-stops to Boston and New York. The Washington Dulles International Airport also serves non-stops to Long Beach, Oakland, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, West Palm Beach, and San Diego making JetBlue the second largest carrier at Dulles in terms of non-stop destinations.
The Washington Dulles International Airport was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy on November 16, 1962. The main terminal was designed by famed Finnish architect Eero Saarinen and it is highly regarded for its graceful beauty, suggestive of flight. In fact, the original terminal at Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan was modelled after the Saarinen terminal at Dulles.
The Washington Dulles International Airport was the first airport in the world specifically designed for jet aircraft, and many of its architectural features were experimental at the time. Mobile lounges that brought passengers directly from aircraft to the terminal were supposed to be the wave of the future, but this innovation was not widely duplicated throughout the world at later airports. Some of the other innovations, such as the midfield terminal and extra-long runways, were designed with a future role as a spaceport in mind.
The Washington Dulles International Airport straddles the border of Fairfax County and Loudoun County, Virginia . It is located partly in Chantilly and partly in Dulles, west of Herndon and southwest of Sterling . It is operated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. In 2005, Dulles saw over 27 million passengers through the airport.
The Washington Dulles International Airport is accessible via the Dulles Access and Toll Roads (Virginia Route 267), US Highway 50, or Virginia State Highway 28. The Washington Metro currently offers only an express Metrobus, but a new Washington Metro subway line will finally connect Dulles to Washington by train by 2015.
A more expensive alternative method to reach Washington Dulles International Airport is via the Washington Flyer Coach bus service that operates roughly every thirty minutes between the airport and the West Falls Church Metro Station.