SPI – A Gateway Airport for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

The United States Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently certified Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport as a Gateway Airport for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

This certificate permits any aircraft which departs from Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport to have direct access to National Airport. The aircraft operator must comply with all aspects of the program which includes requesting TSA at least 24 hours in advance for each flight into and out of National Airport. Aircraft must arrive from one of the designated gateway airports, including Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, after flight crews have been vetted and passengers screened.

Why Do We Have to Go Through a Gateway Airport?

TSA requires that passengers on flights to or from DCA have to be screened by TSA security screeners. The security screening is the same as that required for passengers on commercial airlines, and generally takes only a few minutes. TSA also requires that aircraft and crew that fly to or from DCA without passengers (for instance, repositioning flights) have to be screened by TSA personnel.

Only specific airports (“gateway airports”) are equipped to accommodate this screening process. Only these airports have been approved by TSA as gateway airports for flights to DCA.

Prior to July 19, 2012, general aviation aircraft departing Springfield desiring to go to DCA would have to land at a designated gateway airport, proceed through the screening process prior to flying to National. This direct access will allow for a more expedient flight to the Airport.

Who Do I Contact?

For additional information regarding the DCA Access Standard Security Program, please contact the Department of Public Safety at 217-788-1080.