Shuttle’s arrival shouldn’t impact airport travel

The space shuttle Discovery is attached to the 747 that will carry it north Tuesday morning. (Courtesy

Andrew Mollenbeck,

WASHINGTON – The Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to perform a fly by of the Udvar-Hazy Center and Dulles International Airport on Tuesday between 10 and 11 a.m. but the impact to airport travelers shouldn’t be too great.

The storied space shuttle, riding piggy back on a modified jumbo jet, will circle the Washington region, making appearances near certain hotspots, before its final approach in front of thousands of space enthusiasts.

“Super cool,” some might say.

But for those with flights scheduled in and out of Dulles the reaction is: “What should I expect?”

“There could be some minor impacts from the shuttle flying over in terms of possible short-term holds of air traffic,” says Rob Yingling, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

“We don’t think that would prompt folks to need to arrive early for their flight,” Yingling says.

“I think the potential for roadway congestion is more prevalent at Dulles than it would be at Reagan National.”

Still, the timing of the arrival is not likely to complicate travel plans at either airport.

“The shuttle is supposed to arrive at a time that’s not very busy at the airports,” Yingling says.

But, if there is roadway congestion due to the shuttle, it would likely be near Dulles.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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