Airport Operator Land-Use Decisions:  After World War II, Congress passed the Washington Airport Act of 1950 to provide for another public airport in the vicinity of the Washington, D.C.  A 10,000 acre site located 26 miles west of Washington, D.C. was selected by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958.  The site was located in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, Virginia and was surrounded by open farmland to provide adequate airspace for arriving and departing flights. 

Aircraft noise, and its impact on regional communities, was a primary consideration during the planning of the airfield. The airfield design restricts close-in residential development by integrating: 11,000+ acres within the airport perimeter, centrally-positioned runways, and 8,000 foot buffers from runway endpoints to the property perimeter.  Dulles International opened for service in November, 1962.  

In addition to airfield planning, the FAA (original airport operator until 1987) and the Airports Authority have worked closely with Fairfax and Loudoun Counties to provide residents with compatible land-use protection through effective county planning and zoning.

Here is a 1991 letter from former Congressman Frank Wolf To MWAA CEO Jim Wilding regarding land use around Dulles.


Loudoun County Land-Use Decisions & Policies:  In 1993, Loudoun County was recognized as a national leader in land-use planning associated with a growing international airport when the county adopted its Airport Impact Overlay District. The Loudoun County Airport Impact Overlay District uses Dulles International aircraft noise contours, calculated for a full-build-5-runway layout, as the basis to convey disclosure information and construction requirements for new residential units.

To determine if a parcel is located in the Loudoun County Airport Impact Overlay District:

  • CLICK HERE Loudoun County Airport Impact Overlay District with Parcel Information
    • Show Map:
      • Click Map Tab
      • Expand and Select Districts
      • Select Airport Impact OD
    • Show Parcel:
      • Click Search Tab
      • Select Find Address
      • Enter Street Address

    lcaiod web image    lcaiod - search web image


  • CLICK HERE Loudoun Zoning Ordinance, Article IV, Division C, Section 4-1400: AI-Airport Impact Overlay District, Section Pgs 142-145



Fairfax County Land-Use Decisions & Policies:  The Fairfax County Dulles Airport Noise Impact Area uses Dulles International aircraft noise contours, calculated for a full-build-5-runway layout, as the basis for its land-use decisions and policies regarding new residential units. 

  • CLICK HERE   Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, 2013 Edition; Area Plan Overview, Amended through 3-24-2015; Pgs 20-22

FC Comprehensive Plan 3-2015

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