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May 1995 Sully District Council Meeting
by Jeff Parnes

  1. At the May Sully District Council meeting Dulles Airport Operations Manager, John Litzenberger, Jr., brought the members up to date on the current status of Dulles Airport.

    • John gave some background information about Dulles Airport. An act of Congress transferred Dulles and National Airports from the Federal Aviation Authority to the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority which is run by a Board of Governors. Eleven members comprise the Board: five from the Commonwealth of Virginia, three from the District of Columbia, two from the State of Maryland and one appointed by the President. By placing both airports under an independent organization, construction and other improvements are independent of the federal budgeting cycle.

      Construction of Dulles Airport started in 1958 and the Airport opened in 1962. Dulles Airport has grown from serving 2 million passengers in 1980 to handling about 20 million now. The busiest time for Dulles is from 3 - 7 PM weekdays. With six cargo facilities Dulles is the busiest cargo airport on the east coast.

      As a good neighbor, Dulles Airport has donated land for the six-laning of Route 28, construction of the Dulles Toll Road and Leesburg extension, Air and Space Museum Annex, and Sulley Plantation. Both Dulles and National Airports generate over 11,000 jobs at each facility.

      Presently, Dulles is operating in an unconstrained aviation environment, capable of handling today's domestic planes as well as the next generation of aircraft. Ultimate planes call for it to handle up to 55 million passengers a year, as many as Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

      For its business Dulles Airport competes with other major east coast airports, such as New York's JFK, Atlanta's Hartsfield and Miami International. It does not really compete with Baltimore Washington, which is closer in size with the Philadelphia and Charlotte airports. National Airport is in a class by itself. If Congress removes restrictions on National dealing with flight length or hours of operation Dulles would suffer.

      Dulles operating revenues come from parking, concessionaires rent, half the concessionaires' take, an $8.00 per ticket fee and landing fees based on a plane's maximum gross weight.

      When it comes to noise, Dulles tries to be a good neighbor. With the elimination of Phase I aircraft engines, Fairfax and Loudoun counties moved the noise level contours closer to the airport. Along Route 28 the contours moved north from I-66 to the Westfields area, and residences sprang up in areas previously planned for office use. Phase II engines will be phased out in 1999. Although individual planes will be quieter, overall noise will be greater due the increased number of flights. The airport's position is that surrounding counties should not move noise contours closer to the airport based on the phase out of Phase II engines. In an additional effort to cut back noise, Dulles no longer allows practice flights from 10:30 PM to 7 AM as they had previously.

    • Dulles Airport is in the midst of a major capital expansion program:

      The International Arrivals Terminal is expanding so as to be able to handle 2400 passengers per hour from its original 800. The plans call for the new terminal to open in Spring 1996.

      The main terminal is also in the midst of an expansion, with wings half as big as the current terminal being built on each side. The vehicular ramps will be widened from two to three lanes and the construction of additional long term parking slots (for a total of 13,000 vehicles) is underway. Under the vehicular ramps the support structure for a future Metro station is being built. If mass transit makes it to Dulles Airport there will be space for it already reserved.

      This fall work will begin on a second mid-field terminal halfway between the main terminal and the existing mid-field terminal. In the year 2000 Dulles plans to break ground on its own underground rail system to ferry passengers between the main terminal and mid-field terminals. Construction on a third mid-field terminal on the other side of the existing mid-field terminal will start in 2005. In addition, Dulles plans to build another north-south runway west of current north-south runways and another east-west runway south of the current east-west one. The exact location of the east-west runway is not certain. This construction should be complete by 2010.

      The last item on Dulles' current master plan, a southern satellite terminal, will built along Route 50 by about 2020. This should provide another means of access to the airport and alleviate some of the traffic at the main facility. The satellite terminal would be connected by the internal subway system the to mid-field terminals.

      Construction of additional short term parking in front of the main terminal is a problem because the terminal is a registered national historic site. An above ground structure, such as that being built at National, would have a negative impact. Plans call for building a five-level underground facility. The cost of the facility would be, as you might imagine, quite expensive.

  2. Other items of interest at the May Sully District Council Meeting included:

    • Tom McDonald reported that there will bright lights at the intersection of the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 29. Local subdivisions were not aware of this decision until recently and are afraid that the lights will have a negative impact on their quality of life and real estate values.

    • Rich Korink and Jeff Parnes described the public information meeting on the proposed Routes 29 and 28 interchange held by the Virginia Department of Transportation. After discussion, the council authorized a letter to be sent to the department conveying the following comments:

      Poor Pedestrian / Bicycle Access: This intersection splits what was once a unified area into four quadrants, without providing adequate pedestrian or bicycle access from each quadrant to the others. Sidewalks or other pedestrian routes should be provided on both sides of Route 29 to allow crossing of Route 28 without the double crossing of Route 29 when moving between the two northern quadrants. The bicycle path along Route 28 south of Route 29 should allow easy access to points north, such as E.C. Lawrence Park, without having to detour two or three blocks east on Route 29 to cross Route 29.

      Impact on Community Commercial Facilities: The construction of a median barrier along Route 29 without providing any areas for U-turns will drastically impact the ability of residents and workers in Centreville to access services, stores, and restaurants in this area. U-turns provisions should be built into your plans (consider jug-handle turns on US Routes 1 and 130 in New Jersey, or slip ramps on US Route 75 in Richardson, Texas).

      Widen Route 28 to I-66: Current plans show that the six-lane Route 28 returns to a four-lane configuration north of the Route 28 / 29 fly over, only to return to a six-lane configuration at I-66. Narrowing Route 28 to four lanes for this short distance will create a bottleneck that should be eliminated as part of this road improvement project.

      Old Centreville Road Bypass: The current configuration of the Route 28 / 29 intersection allows, in fact, encourages, traffic that wishes to move north from Route 28 to north on Route 29 to use Old Centreville as a bypass to the intersection. When Southbound Route 29 traffic is faced with the possibility of four lights to go south on Route 28 using this intersection (counting the lights at Old Centreville and Route 29 and Old Centreville and Route 28, as well as the lights at the two ramps on Route 29), the two light route using Old Centreville Road may turn into a southbound bypass. Will the redesign do anything to improve either of the Old Centreville Road intersections with Route 28 or Route 29- Or will there be sufficient improvement in the turning movements to discourage the use of Old Centreville Road-

      These comments were funished to Mr. Thomas F. Farley, Northern Virginia District Administrator, Virginia Department of Transportation. We asked for his kind consideration of our concerns, and indicated we would be interested in his reply.

    • Tom McDonald, the Sully District representative to the task force reviewing proposed river crossing between Fairfax and Prince William counties, gave a report on its progress. Tom summed up the problem in this way - both the Prince William and Fairfax County Parkways parallel the Occoquan River and Bull Run. How can we connect the two roads with the least impact to Fairfax residences and the fragile Occoquan watershed-

    • The Nominating committee presented its proposed slat of offices for the 1995-1996 term of offices. Nominated were Jeff Parnes, President; Glenn Stroup, First Vice-President; John Henderson, Second Vice-President; Trish Goins, Secretary; and Larry Faulkner, Treasurer. The Nominating committee indicated that John Henderson was willing to continue to serve only if no one else desired the position. Richard Korink indicated his willingness to serve, and was duly nominated in John Henderson's place.

    • A proposal to amend the Bylaws to remove the two term limitation of officers serving in the same position was considered and accepted. In order to be adopted, the amendment must be considered and adopted by two successive Council meetings. The amendment will be considered at the June meeting.

    • The next meeting of the Sully District Council will be held on 28 June 1994. On the agenda will be:
      • Bylaws amendment.
      • Election of Officers
      • Presentation by Fair Oaks Police Precinct on public safety concerns.
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