Everything to Know About Washington National Airport

Learn About the Airport Amenities, Parking, Ground Transportation and More

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••• Photo © Dennis K. Johnson/Getty Images

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is a major commercial airport serving the Washington DC metropolitan area. The three-level, one million square foot terminal offers modern facilities to create a passenger friendly environment. The following guide provides the key things you need to know about the airport's location, amenities, parking, ground transportation and more.

1. Washington National Airport (DCA) is the closest airport to Washington DC.  Located just 4 miles from Downtown DC, in Arlington County, Virginia, the airport is accessible from the George Washington Parkway.

Its physical address is 2401 Smith Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22202. See a map.

2. A short runway limits the size of the aircraft that are permitted to fly into Washington DC.  The airfield contains three runways with the longest one measuring about 6,869 feet. The largest plane that can land on the runway is a Boeing 767. The airport provides domestic flights and a few flights to Canada and the Caribbean. Shuttles depart every half hour to New York and Boston.

3. Fourteen airlines serve Washington National Airport: Air Canada, AirTran, Alaska Airlines
American Airlines, Delta, Fly Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines,
Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, US Airways Shuttle, US Airways Express and Virgin America. For information about flight reservations and pricing, check online with a reservation service.

4. The airport is directly accessible by Metro. Metrorail farecards may be purchased at machines located at the entrances to the Airport Metrorail station.

To return from Washington DC, use the Yellow or Blue Lines to take you directly to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail station. The station is also fully accessible via elevators. Read more about Using the Washington DC Metrorail.

5. There is plenty of available ground transportation.

Taxicabs are readily available outside the terminal. Advance reservations are not needed. Shuttle services provide door-to-door transportation including shared ride services, private limousine companies and app-based transit. Washington National Airport is also served by five car rental companies located on site. For all the details, see a guide to Getting to National Airport from Washington DC.

6. Parking lots provide hourly, daily and economy parking. The Hourly and Daily garages have been combined into one facility named Terminal Parking. Courtesy shuttle buses are available from the parking lots to the terminals, although the garages are within walking distance of the terminals. Parking spaces are limited. During peak travel times, parking lots may be full. Passengers are advised to call (703) 417-PARK, or (703) 417-7275 before driving to the Airport. Read more about airport parking.

7. The free cell phone waiting area makes it easy to wait for a passenger. If you are picking up a passenger, you can wait in your car until your arriving party calls you on your cell phone to let you know that the plane has arrived. The cell phone waiting area is located near the end of the “Return to Airport” ramp just beyond Terminal B/C.

Tell your party to proceed to any Baggage Claim level door and to tell you the exterior door number so you can pick them up there.

8. There are nearly 100 shops and restaurants in the Airport Terminals with a mix of national, local and regional retail and food concessions. The airport is currently adding new stores and restaurants and upgrading its facilities. More than 20 additional food and restaurant options are expected to open in Summer 2015.

9. There are many hotels conveniently located within a few miles of the airport. Got a late night or early morning flight? See a guide to hotels near Washington National Airport.

10. Washington National Airport has an arts program to welcome visitors to the nation’s capital.  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority offers rotating public art displays and brings musicians, singers, dancers and other artists to Washington’s airports to provide entertainment for passengers throughout the year.

There is a Gallery Walk, located in Terminal A, displaying two and three-dimensional works by artists from all over the local area.

11. The Washington, DC area is served by three different airports. To learn about the differences Between National, Dulles and BWI Airports,  see Washington DC Airports (Which One is Best).

For more information about National Airport, visit the official website at www.metwashairports.com.