There are literally thousands of airports on Earth. Some cities even have multiple airports, with the likes of London in the United Kingdom having no less than six. Each of these airports has its own name, but names can change over time. In order to quickly and easily differentiate between airports around the globe, each one is also given its own three letter code. This is called an IATA airport code or IATA location identifier. For Washington DC, the capital of the United States, there are actually three airport codes to be aware of: DCA is used for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, BWI is used for Baltimore–Washington International Airport, and IAD is used for Washington Dulles International Airport.
What is the Washington DC Airport Code?
For the capital of the United States, Washington DC, there are three major airports. This makes DC one of the best-served cities in the world in terms of air travel. The three DC airports are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (airport code DCA), Baltimore–Washington International Airport (airport code BWI), and Washington Dulles International Airport (airport code IAD).
Washington Airport Code Contact Information
The address for airport code DCA (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport) is Arlington, Virginia, 22202. The address for airport code BWI (Baltimore–Washington International Airport) is Baltimore, MD 21240. The address for airport code IAD (Washington Dulles International Airport) is 1 Saarinen Cir, Dulles, VA 20166.
History of Washington Airport Code
None of the three major DC airports of the modern day were actually the first to be built in the area. The first major DC airport was Hoover Field, which was located in Arlington. Washington-Hoover Airport was later used for flights in and out of DC, but authorities knew that another, larger airport was needed. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was therefore constructed. It was simply known as Washington National Airport for many years until being renamed after Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, in 1998. DCA airport has consistently been one of the major airports for DC since its inception and has a unique distinction in that no flights in or out of this airport can go further than 1,250 miles.
Baltimore–Washington International Airport (airport code BWI) was the second of the three major airports to be constructed. It opened up in 1950 and was originally called Friendship International Airport. It was renamed Baltimore/Washington International Airport in 1973 and has consistently been ranked as one of the best airports in the United States for passengers. Washington Dulles International Airport was the final member of the big three DC airports to open up. This airport, which has the airport code IAD, opened in 1962 and was named after former Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. Dulles was developed with international passengers in mind and caters to around 90% of international travel in and out of the DC area.
Statistics for Washington Airport Code DCA
DCA airport is the main airport for United States-based travelers heading to or from DC. It's the closest airport to Downtown DC and caters to over 20 million passengers each year. The top destinations for DCA airport are Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; and Orlando, FL.
Statistics for Washington Airport Code BWI
BWI airport is the busiest of the three DC airports and usually gets over 25 million passengers passing through each year. It has been ranked as one of the easiest airports to get to and one of the best airports to use for its customer service and amenities. The top destinations for BWI airport are Atlanta, GA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Orlando, FL; Boston, MA; and Charlotte, NC.
Statistics for Washington Airport Code IAD
IAD is the least busy of the three DC airports but still sees around 20 million passengers each year and is the main airport for international travelers in and out of the American capital. The main domestic destinations from IAD are Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; and Orlando, FL.
Parking at Washington Airport Code DCA
There are three different options for parking at DCA Washington airport: the Terminal B/C garages, Terminal A garage, and the economy lot. The garages charge $25 per day, while the economy lot is available for $17 per day.
Parking at Washington Airport Code BWI
There are five different parking options at BWI airport. Hourly, daily, express, valet, and long-term parking are all available at this Washington DC airport. The cheapest option can be found at the long term lots, which charge a relatively low rate of just $8 per day and have shuttle services to the terminals.
Parking at Washington Airport Code IAD
At IAD airport, parking prices vary from as low as $10 on the economy lots to up to $35 per day for full valet services. There are also other garage and parking options with their own prices and features, so IAD airport parking offers something for everyone.
Getting To and From Washington Airport Code DCA
You can drive to DCA airport via the I-395 South or simply use taxis or ride shares. Many airport shuttles also operate in the area, and the airport has its own Metrorail station for quick and easy connections to Downtown DC.
Getting To and From Washington Airport Code BWI
BWI has been ranked as one of the easiest airports to access, with a lot of different public transportation options. The BWI Marshall Airport Shuttle is totally free and runs passengers around to the terminal buildings and BWI rail station. At the station, you can take trains into DC or other areas, and there are several other good bus and shuttle services operating at this Washington DC airport.
Getting To and From Washington Airport Code IAD
Various taxis and shuttle services are in operation at IAD airport. Shuttle buses take passengers between the airport and DC many times per day, and if you’d like to travel by rail, you can hop on the Metro to the Wiehle-Reston East station and then get a bus across to the airport.
Hotels at Washington Airport Code DCA
DCA airport does not have its own on-site hotel, but there are plenty of good hotels in the local area. See addresses and contact information below.
- Crystal Gateway Marriott - 1700 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202, Phone: 703-920-3230
- Hyatt Regency Crystal City At Reagan National Airport - 2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202, Phone: 703-418-1234
- Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport - 2399 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202, Phone: 703-418-6800
- Concord Residences - 2600 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202, Phone: 833-766-4584
Hotels at Washington Airport Code BWI
BWI airport does not have an on-site hotel, but there are plenty of great hotel options in the local, just a few minutes away from the terminals by car or shuttle service. See details on these hotels below.
- Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport - 1739 W Nursery Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090, Phone: 410-694-0808
- Aloft BWI Baltimore Washington International Airport - 1741 W Nursery Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090, Phone: 410-691-6969
- Holiday Inn Baltimore BWI Airport - 815 Elkridge Landing Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090, Phone: 410-691-1000
Hotels at Washington Airport Code IAD
IAD airport has an on-site hotel called the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott. This hotel is located at 45020 Aviation Dr, Dulles, VA 20166, Phone: 703-471 9500) and offers good clean rooms and useful amenities. Other hotels in the IAD airport are can be found below.
- Hyatt Regency Dulles - 2300 Dulles Corner Blvd, Herndon, VA 20171, Phone: 703-713-1234
- The Westin Washington Dulles Airport - 2520 Wasser Terrace, Herndon, VA 20171, Phone: 703-793-3366
- Candlewood Suites Washington-Dulles Herndon - 13845 Sunrise Valley Dr, Herndon, VA 20171, Phone: 703-793-7100