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Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (IATA: DCA, ICAO: KDCA, FAA LID: DCA) is a public airport located three miles (5 km) south of the central business district of Washington, D.C., in Arlington County, Virginia, United States.[1] It is the nearest commercial airport to Washington, D.C. Originally named Washington National Airport, the facility was renamed to honor former President Ronald Reagan in 1998. The airport is commonly known as "National", "Washington National", "Reagan", and "Reagan National". "DCA" is used as the main airport code.

The airport is a focus city for US Airways, also the airport's largest carrier. The US Airways Shuttle offers near-hourly air shuttle service to LaGuardia Airport in New York City and Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. Delta Air Lines' Delta Shuttle also offers near-hourly air shuttle service to LaGuardia. With a handful of exceptions, flights are restricted to destinations within 1,250 miles (2,012 km), in an effort to control aviation noise and to drive air traffic to the larger but more distant Washington Dulles International Airport. In 2006, the airport served approximately 18.5 million passengers.[2] Because the airport only provides U.S. immigration and customs facilities for corporate jet traffic, the only international flights allowed to land at DCA are those from airports with U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance, which include Nassau, Bahamas; Bermuda (seasonal); and most major airports in eastern Canada.*1

RONALD REGAN NATION AIRPORT is operated by the MWAA. The Authority operates Dulles International and Regan National airports. The operation both the police and fired departments for the Authority is placed under the Department of Public Safety. The Fire Department is a full service department under the direction of Chief Gary A. Mesaris.

The 9-11 Connection

Shortly before the Pentagon is attacked, firefighters with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) respond to a multiple vehicle car crash at the upper level of Terminal B of Reagan National Airport, which is less than a mile from the Pentagon. Captain Michael Defina, the acting shift commander, has seen the World Trade Center attacks on television and, although the airport is not on alert, he later claims he has a feeling that Washington could be another terrorist target. Although the shift commander doesn’t usually respond to motor vehicle accidents, Defina accompanies the rescue engine and medic unit to the crash at Terminal B because, he says, “something didn’t sound right about it.” He then hears a “dull roar” when the Pentagon is struck, and turns to see smoke rising above it. [NFPA Journal, 11/1/2001; JEMS, 4/2002 ] Fire Communications initially tells him that a Boeing 757 crashed off the end of Runway 1-19 at Reagan Airport. This report is soon corrected, and the MWAA is directed to respond to the Pentagon attack. It has substantial resources for this, including two foam units and two mass casualty units. MWAA has authority to automatically respond to plane crashes within 5 miles of Reagan Airport, so two of its heavy rescue units self-dispatch to the Pentagon. Its fire and medical units arrive at the crash site within 5 minutes of the attack. [US Department of Health and Human Services, 7/2002, pp. A6-A7] The Airports Authority firefighters are able to set up directly in front of the impact hole, and their foam units knock down much of the fire within seven minutes of arriving. [NFPA Journal, 11/1/2001]  *2

*1 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

*2 History Commons