United Extends Lease at Dulles Airport

United Airlines—the largest user of Dulles Airport, and its largest employer—has inked a deal to extend its lease there through 2024.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the deal between the airline and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority on Thursday.

United established its hub operation at Dulles in 1986. The current lease was set to expire in 2017. The seven-year extension came after the General Assembly approved $50 million in cash incentives over the next two years to help reduce the costs of airlines operating at Dulles.

“Today’s agreement is critical to the economic prosperity of Northern Virginia and air service throughout the commonwealth,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “The extension of the United lease solidifies Dulles as Virginia’s gateway to the country and the world and a critical piece of our efforts to build a new Virginia economy.”

The MWAA board adopted the lease extension in July and it was approved by United this month.

“We are proud to be a part of the Northern Virginia and the greater Washington community and look forward to the important role that Dulles will continue to play in United’s global route network for years to come,” United CEO Oscar Munoz stated.

The United extension agreement is similar to the use and lease agreement terms in place for airlines at Reagan National Airport. The Dulles agreement also establishes a new capital program from 2018 through 2024 for the upkeep and improvement of airport infrastructure, including terminals, airfield pavement, passenger conveyance, baggage handling, utilities, roads, airline gates and the international arrivals facility.