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Va. Transportation Leaders Meet with Senator Warner

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority CEO Jack Potter met face to face with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner to discuss the federal government’s role in the survival of airports in the age of COVID-19.  They told Senator Warner that federal relief funding has kept airports operating and that additional funds would be needed until passengers return.

Friday’s meeting took place at the headquarters of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission in Arlington.

During the meeting, Potter warned of looming debt issues at airports nationwide.  He said that during the pandemic Dulles and Reagan Airports have been hit harder than most airports.

“Domestically last year, airports were down 60 percent.  Our airports were down over 70 percent,” Potter told Warner.  “Let’s just take Dulles.  A third of our traffic is international.  It’s all but zeroed out.”

Potter later added that Reagan has also been hit harder than most airports because of its reliance on business travel, which has also plummeted.

If a $1.9 trillion bill supported by President Joe Biden and Senator Warner passes, relief funding would flow to airports across the Commonwealth.