Dulles International Airport Traveler Update on Coronavirus
Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull
Our unique open house and jet plane tug-of-war are amazing to see, and admission is FREE!
This event concluded in 2016. Click here to visit the 2018 event page.
Each year, Washington Dulles International Airport offers a one-day open house for thousands of visitors to experience aviation up close. Dulles Day 2017 will be on Saturday, September 23rd. The day begins early with a 5k and 10k runway run for registered participants. At 10:30 a.m, gates open to the airfield, where a huge, free festival awaits all visitors. The signature event is the Plane Pull, a friendly competition in which teams of 25 people try to pull a full-size jet aircraft - weighing 82 tons - in the shortest time. Spectators are encouraged to cheer and take photographs. Proceeds from fund-raising activities benefit Special Olympics Virginia.
Dulles Day includes:
- Up to 2500 participants in a 5K and 10K run (7:30 - 9:30 a.m.)
- Nearly 100 teams in the Plane Pull event, including nine-time defending champion Chesapeake, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office
- TWO planes being pulled - one from FedEx and the other from United Airlines. Gates open at 10:30 a.m., and event kicks off at 11 a.m.
- An "International Row" immediately inside the entrance gate with exhibits focusing on travel, hosted by Customs and Border Protection, TSA, CLEAR registered traveler, airlines and embassies
- More than 40 current and vintage aircraft on display
- Classic car show with about 50 cars and motorcycles on display
- Airfield tours aboard the famous Dulles Mobile Lounges for $1 per rider
- Kids’ play area with bounce houses, truck pull and dunk-a-cop tank
- “Trackless Train” running back and forth to carry attendees along the length of the site
- Equipment displays by Airports Authority Police, Fire and Rescue and Maintenance
- Take a ride in an Airports Authority fire truck for a $5 donation to Special Olympics
- Police K-9 demonstrations every hour beginning at 11:30 a.m.
- Food and beverages from several vendors and food trucks available for purchase
Food Vendor List:
- The Frenchman food truck
- Union Dog food truck (hot dogs)
- International Grill Company
- Creative Taste (fair food)
- Red Hook Lobster Pound food truck
- Two Smooth Dudes (gourmet tater tots)
- Out of Your League (Peruvian)
- MacBrand Foods (fair food)
- Snowie of Virginia (snow cones)
- Grapevine (Mediterranean)
- Merone's Catering (Italian)
- Saleh's Treats (drinks and ice cream)
- Rita's Italian Ice
Current and Vintage aircraft displays are anticipated to include:
T-28, Aichi Val (replica), Stearman, Waco, L-4, Emeraude, DC-3 Tabitha May, L-5, TBM Avenger, T-6, P-51, United Express aircraft, Bell 429 helicopter, Hughes 500D and 20 more privately owned aircraft
Military aircraft displays are anticipated to include:
Army HH-60 Blackhawk, Air Force T-6 prop trainer, Navy TH-57 helicopter trainer, Marines MV-22B Osprey, Air Force T-38 jet trainer, Coast Guard C-130, Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter, Army AH-64 Apache helicopter, Army Lakota helicopter
Admission and parking are FREE. Arrive via the Dulles Airport Access Highway and keep right, following electronic "Event Parking" signs to free lots with shuttle buses. All lots and buses are accessible for the disabled.
View the event parking map here
View the festival map here
Getting there from the Silver Line: A free "Plane Pull" shuttle for festival patrons will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on September 17 at the Wiehle/Reston East station's Silver Line Express bus stop. Plan for extra travel time on Metrorail due to scheduled "SafeTrack" rail maintenance work. The free shuttle service will conclude when the festival closes for the day.
Do not bring: Backpacks, large bags, coolers, weapons, pets (except service animals). Leave them in your car or at home. Enforcement will be strict at the entrance gate. Cameras are allowed and encouraged!