Miscellaneous information and visuals about Dulles International Airport

MWAA IAD signage standards

In the process of scouring the internet for sources for my previous post on growing air cargo traffic at Dulles International Airport, I came across a whole host of interesting documents and information that I couldn’t find a way to fit into the narrative. So, here’s a smorgasboard of some tangentially related items I found interesting.

The image above is one example, showing spacing for wayfinding signage at IAD. Some signage uses the ‘Saarinen’ typeface, designed by Eero Saarinen specifically for the airport. The graphic is from IAD’s extensive Airport Design Standards and Signing Guidelines document, a document that not only establishes standards for the aesthetics of the airport, but also reveals the future plans for expansion at IAD.

The challenge of costs: The cost per enplanement at Dulles has risen above the median for peer airports as MWAA engaged on IAD’s capital construction program. DCA’s constraints don’t provide room for growth, but don’t require large capital expenses, either:

MWAA IAD CPE forecast

Growth potential: Dulles has room to grow and handle 3x as many passengers as it does today, and with a significant increase in airfield capacity as well.

MWAA IAD plan gates

MWAA IAD plan airfield

Future layout: While the planning consistently shows four tiers of midfield concourses, the schematic from the Design Guidelines re-names the terminals to follow the sequence of an Aerotrain trip, rather than the current nomenclature:

MWAA future terminal layout

Regional competition among Washington-area airports: Dulles handled the most passengers in 2012, but all three airports are very similar in overall traffic levels. Dulles has the most connecting traffic (42% of passengers connect) and the fewest number of origins/destinations in the DC area. Dulles also has (by far) the international traffic:

MWAA regional traffic connect intl

At the same time, the FAA forecasts for growth show Dulles taking the majority of the incremental air traffic for the region:

MWAA regional traffic FAA forecast

Development opportunities: An illustrative example from MWAA’s strategic planning documents showing the land available for development at the airport:

MWAA IAD dev opps

The northern-most of those orange blobs is a potential transit-oriented development project at the Route 606 Metro Station.

Parking symbols: From the Design Guidelines, examples of sky-related symbols for parking wayfinding:

MWAA parking symbols

MWAA parking symbol example

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