Dulles closes runway to accommodate private planes

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Charter buses, family minivans and trains are all arriving in the area, as hundreds of thousands of people make their way to President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

Then there are those arriving by private planes — enough to close a runway at Dulles International Airport to clear out enough space for them to park.

“We expect about 300 private aircraft this inauguration,” says David Mould, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

“We have parking areas at Dulles Airport that will accommodate a number of aircraft, but when those begin to fill up, we will move them out onto the runway area that we have reserved for this purpose,” he says.

The western-most runway was set to close Thursday night. The airport’s three other runways will remain open.

The airport also closed a runway for Obama’s first inauguration. For that event, 700 private aircraft arrived, a record there.

“It shouldn’t have any impact on commercial service,” Mould says.

“We are expecting a little bit heavier-than-normal travel on the days prior to the inauguration. The main crush will be on the day following the inauguration,” he says.

The runway will likely remain closed until the day after the inauguration.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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