October 26: Washington Dulles International Airport’s expanded arrivals terminal opened, doubling the size of the original hall.
It’s the first of a three-phase expansion plan for the arrivals building that will eventually take it from 136,000 square feet (sq/ft) to 340,000 sq/ft. The arrivals hall now has an open mezzanine level, more natural light, and includes a new docking station for the airport’s mobile lounge vehicle transportation system as well as two VIP Customs Processing Lounges.
International travel through Dulles has dramatically increased since 1991, from 1.4 million passengers to 6.2 million in 2008. The hall can now process 2,500 passengers an hour, up from 1,400 in the original arrivals building, constructed in 1991. Former processing space will now be devoted to expanding the baggage claim area.
Construction for phase 2 is already underway with completion planned for next year – phase 3 will restore the original international arrivals building.