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Dulles Airport Turns 50 Years Old

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Dulles International Airport is 50 years old.
Dulles International Airport is 50 years old.

Dulles International Airport is marking a major milestone — it was 50 years ago today that then-President Kennedy dedicated Washington Dulles International Airport in what was then the far outskirts of northern Virginia.

Dulles Airport has evolved into a major hub serving more than 23 million passengers annually, including 6.5 million international passengers.

Airport officials say Dulles was the first airport in the nation designed to accommodate commercial jetliners. The 10,000-acre site in Chantilly, Va. has allowed the airport, which is completing a multi-billion dollar expansion, room to grow.

That growth has created its own problems. Airport officials say the expansion resulted in costs that could put it at a competitive disadvantage.

And recently the authority that runs both Dulles and Reagan Washington National airports has been criticized for mismanagement, nepotism and lax contracting policies.


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