Code 3 Reagan Washington International Airport Oshkosh T-3000 Crash Truck (13062)
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (IATA: DCA, ICAO: KDCA,
FAA LID: DCA) is a public airport located three miles (5 km) south of the
central business district of Washington, D.C., in Arlington County, Virginia,
United States. It is the nearest commercial airport to Washington, D.C.
Originally named Washington National Airport, the facility was renamed to honor
former President Ronald Reagan in 1998. The airport is commonly known as
"National", "Washington National", "Reagan", and "Reagan National". "DCA" is
used as the main airport code.
The airport is a focus city for US Airways, also the airport's largest carrier.
The US Airways Shuttle offers near-hourly air shuttle service to LaGuardia
Airport in New York City and Logan International Airport in Boston,
Massachusetts. Delta Air Lines' Delta Shuttle also offers near-hourly air
shuttle service to LaGuardia. With a handful of exceptions, flights are
restricted to destinations within 1,250 miles (2,012 km), in an effort to
control aviation noise and to drive air traffic to the larger but more distant
Washington Dulles International Airport. In 2006, the airport served
approximately 18.5 million passengers. Because the airport only provides U.S.
immigration and customs facilities for corporate jet traffic, the only
international flights allowed to land at DCA are those from airports with U.S.
Customs and Border Protection preclearance, which include Nassau, Bahamas;
Bermuda (seasonal); and most major airports in eastern Canada.*1
RONALD REGAN NATION AIRPORT is operated by the MWAA. The
Authority operates Dulles International and Regan National airports. The
operation both the police and fired departments for the Authority is placed
under the Department of Public Safety. The Fire Department is a full service
department under the direction of Chief Gary A. Mesaris.
The 9-11 Connection
Shortly before the Pentagon is attacked, firefighters with the Metropolitan
Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) respond to a multiple vehicle car crash at
the upper level of Terminal B of Reagan National Airport, which is less than a
mile from the Pentagon. Captain Michael Defina, the acting shift commander, has
seen the World Trade Center attacks on television and, although the airport is
not on alert, he later claims he has a feeling that Washington could be another
terrorist target. Although the shift commander doesn’t usually respond to motor
vehicle accidents, Defina accompanies the rescue engine and medic unit to the
crash at Terminal B because, he says, “something didn’t sound right about it.”
He then hears a “dull roar” when the Pentagon is struck, and turns to see smoke
rising above it. [NFPA Journal, 11/1/2001; JEMS, 4/2002 ] Fire Communications
initially tells him that a Boeing 757 crashed off the end of Runway 1-19 at
Reagan Airport. This report is soon corrected, and the MWAA is directed to
respond to the Pentagon attack. It has substantial resources for this, including
two foam units and two mass casualty units. MWAA has authority to automatically
respond to plane crashes within 5 miles of Reagan Airport, so two of its heavy
rescue units self-dispatch to the Pentagon. Its fire and medical units arrive at
the crash site within 5 minutes of the attack. [US Department of Health and
Human Services, 7/2002, pp. A6-A7] The Airports Authority firefighters are able
to set up directly in front of the impact hole, and their foam units knock down
much of the fire within seven minutes of arriving. [NFPA Journal, 11/1/2001] *2