Rep. Lipinski Celebrates Inaugural Southwest Flight from Midway Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington (August 11, 2014)

Today, Southwest Airlines began nonstop service between Midway International Airport and Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.  Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) joined with Alderman Mike Zalewski, Alderman Ed Burke, Chicago Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino, and Southwest employees and customers to celebrate the inaugural flight.  The new service starts with six daily roundtrips, with three more scheduled to be added in September. 

“For many years people have been asking me about service between Midway Airport and Reagan National Airport,” stated Rep. Lipinski.  “After all the hard work, it’s great to see the first flight taking off.  This service will provide a new option for families, school groups, church groups, business travelers, and anyone else looking for a convenient way to get to our nation’s capital.  It will also help to keep Midway Airport a vital economic engine on the Southwest Side of Chicago.”

Traffic in and out of Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., is limited by the number of “slots” available.  Congressman Lipinski lobbied the federal government to grant slots to Southwest when American Airlines and US Airways were merging and had to relinquish slots at Reagan National.  Southwest had stated that if they were granted slots they would establish service to and from Midway Airport. 

“I remember when this airport was a ghost town and I would ride my bike around the perimeter of an almost-empty field,” said Lipinski.  “Now Midway Airport is booming, and for the first time in the history of the airport there were more than one million passengers boarding planes in one month.  This new Southwest Airlines service will only add to the continued success of this airport, this neighborhood, and the region.”

Rep. Lipinski is the senior member from the state on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and serves on the Aviation Subcommittee.