Dulles planes

File photo, courtesy Dulles International Airport

News of transportation and transit across Northern Virginia:

DULLES HAS TOP ON-TIME-DEPARTURE RATE IN REGION: Travelers using the Washington area’s three main airports during the first six months of 2019 were most likely to find their flights departing on time at Washington Dulles International, according to new data.

And all three facilities saw improvement in their rankings compared to the nation’s other large U.S. airports.

Dulles ranked first in the region, and fifth among the 30 largest airports, with an on-time rate of 81.99 percent, according to new departure data from the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Dulles bumped up from seventh place among the top 30 airports during the same period in 2018, although its average on-time percentage declined slightly from 2018 to 2019.

Among the region’s two other airports:

• Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport reported an on-time-departure rate of 78.51 percent for the first six months, ranking it 15th nationally. A year before, it had been 22nd at 77.27 percent.

• Baltimore-Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport posted an on-time-departure rate of 76.36 percent, ranking it 19th nationally. A year before, it had been 21st at 77.57 percent.

Nationally, Portland (Ore.) International Airport had the highest on-time rate for the first six months of the year among large airports, at 87.27 percent. It was followed by Salt Lake City (84.72 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul (82.77 percent), Seattle (82.31 percent) and Dulles.

On the other side of the coin was Chicago-Midway, whose on-time rate of 65.72 percent was lowest among the 30 largest airports. It was followed in the hall of shame by Newark-Liberty (70.75 percent), Dallas Love Field (71.31 percent) Chicago-O’Hare (72.1 percent) and Dallas-Fort Worth (73.02 percent).

When it comes to on-time arrivals, BWI-Marshall was best in the region for the January-to-June period at 82.05 percent, ranking sixth nationally. Dulles was 10th at 79.48 percent, with Reagan National 19th at 77.26 percent.

Nationally, the highest on-time-arrival rates for the first half of the year were at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (84.13 percent), Salt Lake City (83.35 percent) and Portland, Ore. (82.73 percent). The lowest rates were at Newark-Liberty (64.93 percent), New York La Guardia (69.07 percent) and San Francisco (69.91 percent).

The federal government counts a flight as “on time” if it leaves and/or arrives within 15 minutes of its scheduled time.

For full data, see the Website at www.bts.gov.

DULLES SEES YEAR-OVER-YEAR GROWTH WHILE REAGAN NATIONAL DECLINES: One was up and one was down, but the overall year-over-year passenger trend at Northern Virginia’s two local airports was higher in new data.

For July, the combined passenger count of 4.5 million at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport was up 1.4 percent from a year before, according to figures reported Sept. 16 by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

With passenger activity of about 2.1 million, Reagan National posted a decline of 0.5 percent from a year before, but the 2.5 million passengers who traveled through Dulles represented an increase of 3 percent.

Growth at Dulles was boosted by an increase of 6.6 percent from dominant carrier United, which increased its presence at the airport by 605 scheduled flights and 45,000 more seats from a year before.

Other notable changes at Dulles: American’s passenger total dropped 33.7 percent due to elimination of service to Miami and reduction in service to Dallas and Charlotte, and British Airways saw its passenger total decline 14.8 percent due to the use of smaller aircraft on its routes to Dulles.

At Reagan National, dominant carrier American posted a slight (0.4 percent) decline in passenger totals. The dip was due to reductions in service to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, necessitated by runway construction there.

Delta showed a passenger-count increase of 4.8 percent from a year before at National, while United pulled back, with its total passenger count down 11.7 percent.

For the first seven months of the year, the passenger count of 14.1 million at Dulles is up 4.2 percent from the same period a year before, while the passenger count of 13.9 million at Reagan National is up 0.9 percent. Combined, the two airports show a year-over-year increase of 2.6 percent from the January-to-July period of 2018.

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