Air passenger enplanements in the region are the highest they have been since 2005, according to the Transportation Planning Board’s (TPB) 2015 Regional Air Passenger Survey, which looks at data from the region’s three commercial service airports: Baltimore-Washington International/Thurgood Marshall (BWI), Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA), and Washington Dulles International (IAD).
Regional air passenger enplanements have been flat at approximately 32 million since 2005, but grew to 34.1 million in 2015, according to the survey, which is performed every two years.
The distribution of those enplanements has shifted since 2013, with DCA now seeing a greater proportion of regional enplanements (34 percent) and IAD seeing a lesser proportion of regional enplanements (31 percent). BWI continues to see the highest proportion (35 percent), but their enplanements remained essentially flat between 2013 and 2015.
“Although we are currently seeing the distribution of enplanements to be greater at BWI and DCA, with recent investments at Dulles, we expect the proportion of enplanements there to grow in the future, which is in line with FAA forecasts through 2040,” said Rich Roisman, COG Transportation Planning Data Program Manager.
The survey also looked at the factors that influence travelers’ airport choice. The four greatest factors for passengers at all three airports were closeness of airport (29 percent), more convenient flight times (18 percent), better access to roads and parking (15 percent), and less expensive airfare (14 percent).
For the overall Washington-Baltimore region, the most common mode of transportation used to access the airports in 2015 was private/rental car (57 percent), taxicabs (15 percent), transportation networks (TNC) such as Uber and Lyft (9 percent), and public transit (7 percent).
The survey data collected from 25,000 passengers will be used to inform the TPB’s Continuous Airport System Planning (CASP) Program, which supports the planning, development, and operation of airport facilities and the ground transportation facilities that serve the region’s commercial airports.