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Northern Virginia Airports Expected to be Back to 80% Pre-Covid Levels

Northern Virginia’s two main airports are seeing a rise in passenger totals and expected to be back to more than 80 percent pre-pandemic levels in 2022. Passenger totals are not expected to surpass the pre-COVID level before 2027.

This data was presented in the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s 2022 budget, which was approved by the body’s board of directors Dec. 15. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport saw a combined 24.3 million passengers board planes in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 7.9 million passengers traveled in 2020 before a bounce back in 2021 with an estimated 12.2 million this year.

The budget predicts a further rebound to 19.5 million passengers in 2022, then an average 4-percent increase each year through 2026. That brings the passenger-enplanement total to 22.8 million that last year.

The budget proposal anticipates that domestic travel at Washington Dulles International Airport will surpass its pre-COVID rates by 2026, but international travel at Dulles and overall travel at Reagan National will remain below 2019 figures until at least 2027.