Dulles Airport in Washington is one of the most modern in the world -- and the first designed specifically for jet aircraft.
Dulles Airport in Washington is one of the most modern in the world -- and the first designed specifically for jet aircraft. It was opened in 1962, and incorporates all the most up-to-date equipment -- including the world's largest mobile lounges, ferrying passengers between terminal buildings and aircraft. In this feature, VISNEWS shows just why Dulles Airport is supposed to be one of the best.
SYNOPSIS: The Dulles International Airport in Washington, capital of the United States, is one of the most modern in the world -- and considered by some to be the finest.
The first-ever airport to be built specifically for jet aircraft, it was opened in 1962 and incorporates the most up-to-date equipment. Architects who designed the ten thousand acre complex and its many terminals, control tower, hangars and workshops found many problems -- mainly that of the sheer distance between various points of operation.
Passengers studied at other airports, for example, were found to walk long distances.... distances which would be increased severely as jet aircraft came more and more into use. Another problem was the high cost of taxi-ing aircraft right up to terminal buildings -- and the noise and pollution inflicted on the buildings. But the simultaneous answer to both problems was found -- mobile lounges. These monstrous and plushly-equipped lounges, largest conventional-wheeled passenger-carrying vehicles in the world, cut down to a minimum the distance walked by passengers through corridors and across the tarmac. In addition, they enabled aircraft to be kept right out on the runways -- cutting out taxi-ing costs, pollution and noise.
There are twenty of these quarter-million-dollar mobile lounges at Dulles. Each is a giant 54-foot-long, 16-feet wide, 76,000-pound-weight monster carrying 102 passengers. Driving cabs are located at each end of the vehicles, which can travel either backwards or forwards at will. One end of a lounge can be attached and sealed to a terminal building, while the other is equipped with a mobile passenger bridge that can mate with any passenger jet aircraft. Meanwhile, they certainly make life a little easier for the jet set.