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Dulles Airport Expands International Arrivals Space

Better late than never. Dulles International Airport is opening a new area that will be able to process more international passengers: 2,400 passengers per hour compared to a previous rate of 1,400 passengers per hour.

Since Dulles became United’s main East Coast hub and international gateway, travelers arriving from overseas have given it low grades for excessive crowding and long lines. Presumably, the new facilities will east the situation. Doubling of the international arrivals area—finally—may take Dulles off your “avoid” list.

When Dulles airport was planned, nobody foresaw that it would become one of the main international hubs for one of the country’s largest airlines. And the idea of security screening wasn’t on anyone’s radar screen. But then came 9/11, and United chose Dulles as its main East Coast hub and international gateway. The original terminal was ill-designed and ill-prepared to handle the consequences of either event, and in recent years Dulles has been in a continuous catch-up phase. The airport’s just-completed inter-terminal people mover was a big improvement, as is an expanded international arrivals facility.

You’ll probably have to wait for the next big improvement, however: Extension of Washington Metro to Dulles is many years distant.

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