Business Jet Center, a Dallas Love Field-based FBO, has been authorized as the first Dallas/Fort Worth-area gateway station for general aviation flights to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and the first two DCA-bound flights were due out in the middle of last month. One originated at Business Jet Center and the other was a transient visitor “who was delighted to discover he didn’t have to go somewhere else before going to Washington National,” said BJC general manager Stephanie Jordan.
The Transportation Security Administration closed DCA to most business jets after 9/11, and access from the 16 authorized gateway airports still carries requirements that are onerous enough that most bizav operators regard the airport as being “no longer closed to” rather than “open to” business aviation. Few business jet operators (other than those carrying lawmakers) have seen fit to make use of the access. In 2000, before the ban, DCA handled 44,592 general aviation flights, about 122 a day. “This authorization ends a long, dry spell,” said Jordan, and “paves the way for us to work with qualified business aircraft operators as well as qualified FAA Part
135 charter operators once again to have access to a very important airport in the Washington, D.C. area.”