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Airport Navigation: Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Located just over 25 miles from the heart of Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia., Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is an iconic landmark of the metropolitan area surrounding it. Built in the 1960s, IAD welcomes over 21 million travelers each year, many of whom depart to and arrive from international locations – 125 different ones, to be specific. It is a bustling airport that has recently gone through modernizing upgrades and will soon (2020) welcome direct rail transit (metro) for travelers who are visiting the area.


Originally considered quite a distance from the happenings in the nation’s capital, IAD now manages the most air traffic on the east coast of the U.S. outside of the New York City area.

Getting to IAD is relatively easy to manage – there are dedicated lanes on the Dulles Toll Road/Route 267which are toll-free for those getting to the airport. Ground transportation options, such as Groundlink, make getting to IAD hassle-free. If you are driving a personal vehicle, there are plenty of parking options, both short and long term.

App It Up!

Making life easier all around is the new D.C. Airports App. You can check on flights, security times, search for dining near your gate, and more.


Considered one of the larger airports in the U.S., travelers should plan ahead for on-site maneuvers around IAD. Plan ahead for at least 2-3 hours prior to your flight, and check on security lines before leaving home. Once you’re through security, and depending on the terminal that you will fly out of, you will either move around via mobile lounges, Plane Mates or the relatively new AeroTrain system.

Image courtesy http://www.flydulles.com/iad/airport-and-terminal-maps


Once you’re at your gate, having checked in and gone through security, you can breathe a sigh of relief. People watching is an excellent idea at IAD, as it is an international thoroughfare. Browse the multitude of shops and the beautiful artwork, or have a meal at one of many restaurants. One neat shopping option is shopping online up to seven days prior to your international flight at Duty Free Americas. Pick up your goods and board your flight!

The options are endless at IAD – take advantage of the architecture, art, and international community at work and play!

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