ARLINGTON, Va. — More people are heading back to the airport during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the major renovation at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) is entering its home stretch.
WUSA9 got a look at the progress of the construction happening at DCA. The renderings of the improved airport are slowly coming to life. Two new security checkpoints are set to open in the middle of 2021.
"It is 50,000 square feet at each checkpoint. Looking down here that's about the size of a football field," said Robert Yingling, with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
The goal of 'Project Journey,' is to ease congestion. Ronald Reagan National Airport was meant to allow 15 million people to travel each year. Now, they see about 23 million passengers a year.
What was only steel beams at the start of this year, is now shaping up to look like the renderings. Crews are working on framing out the interior of those checkpoints and putting in the windows.
"Reagan National is known for convenience. This along with the new 14 gates concourse will increase the convenience and comfort of the airport experience," said Yingling.
The 225,000 square foot concourse is also part of the project. It will be home to 14 new gates. The new concourse will eliminate the need for shuttle buses taking passengers to their flight from Gate 35X.
This comes as more people are starting to travel again. The Transportation Security Administration hit a huge milestone recently. TSA agents screened 1 million passengers in a single day. That's the first time it has happened since March.
Because of the lower travel numbers, the pandemic has allowed construction crews to do more work during the day instead of overnight.
On top of convenience, travelers can also expect to see some pretty cool features once the new additions are complete. The windows are high-tech glass that can be electronically tinted when it's sunny to try to keep the building cool.