Chicago to Washington D.C. – Your DCA Gateway

The TSA began approving general aviation operations for Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in 2006 after restricting access to the airport due to the September 11th terrorist attacks. In the interest of national security, all operators and DCA gateway FBO facilities must adhere to stringent security requirements as approved participants in the DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP).

B. Coleman Aviation and Coleman Jet are participants under the DASSP. This means that a DASSP approved private jet operator can depart from B. Coleman Aviation and fly directly to DCA. Coleman Jet is an approved private air charter operator allowed to conduct flights into and from DCA.

All aircraft must meet the following security measures prior to every flight into and departing DCA:

  • TSA inspection of crew and passengers.
  • TSA inspection of property, all baggage, and aircraft.
  • Identification and background checks for all passengers by the TSA.
  • Submission of passenger and crew manifests no fewer than 24 hours in advance of flight.
  • Slot reservations for one of the 48 daily flights allowed.
  • Fingerprint-based criminal history records check (CHRC) and FAA records check for flight crew.
  • Armed Security Officer (ASO), a specially trained law enforcement officer authorized by the TSA, onboard for both inbound to and outbound from DCA.
  • All DASSP flights must depart from an approved DCA Gateway FBO and fly non-stop to DCA.
  • All operations are subject to cancellation at any time.

For more information, contact Ed Fares at 317.796.7765 or efares@b-coleman.com

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a DCA Gateway FBO different than a regular FBO?

A DCA Gateway FBO is an FBO that has additional security training and is equipped for the necessary security screening under the DASSP. Only private air charter operators that are DASSP participants can depart from a DCA Gateway FBO and fly directly into DCA.

Do passengers go through security like traveling on the airlines?

At the DCA Gateway FBO, a TSA security officer will screen you and your baggage, similar to that of a commercial airport without having to wait in line! Generally, the process takes only a few minutes once passengers are ready to board the aircraft.

Can I use any FBO at a gateway airport?

No, there are only certain FBOs at each DCA Gateway airport that can accommodate the extra security measures. Here is a list of current DCA Gateway FBOs.

When is the cutoff to make changes to an itinerary?

The trip itinerary must be submitted to TSA at least 24 hours prior to departure. TSA encourages that all confirmed and potential passenger information accompany the trip itinerary. Changes to any aspect of the flight (flight plan, passenger manifest, etc.) within 24 hours  of departure will restart the 24-hour clock and may forfeit the slot reservation assigned by the FAA. If uncertain whether a passenger will be on the flight, it is best to add them to the trip as passengers can be removed within the 24 hour window without issue. Changes to departure times may be made at the TSA’s discretion.

Are the baggage restrictions the same on flights to DCA as to other airports?

Yes. Baggage is subject to the same security restrictions as any other private air charter flight. Please note that the list of permitted and prohibited items are not as limiting as the airlines. For questions regarding specific items on your flight, please contact your flight operator.

If a flight is delayed leaving the gateway airport, or inflight due to weather, will it be diverted or cancelled?

No. TSA recognizes that there are operational and safety reasons that will delay flights from meeting their assigned slot reservations. TSA and FAA will work with aircraft operators to facilitate late flights due to weather.  However, should the aircraft land after departure at a non-gateway airport prior to arriving at DCA, the operator will need to restart the slot reservation process and manifest submission requirements. The flight will also need to re-position to and depart from a gateway airport. In addition, other non-Air Traffic Control related reasons, such as late arriving passengers, will most likely cause your flight to be diverted or cancelled.

Why is an armed guard needed on board?

Because general aviation aircraft generally do not have lockable cockpit doors, TSA requires that an Armed Security Officer (ASO) is on board each passenger flight to and from DCA for the purpose of preventing unauthorized access to the flight deck. The operator of the flight will select a qualified ASO if the client does not have one of their choosing.

Additional Resources

TSA regulations authorizing operations at DCA and governing the DASSP are located at 49 CFR part 1562 and can be viewed here.

NATA Compliance Services provides DASSP compliant training programs, offers background checks and other services.

From the time they motioned us to parking to the time we departed two days later, Coleman redefined the meaning of great service. In 45+ years of flying, this is the best experience ever.

Marcus N.

Absolutely first-class service and professionalism. The low fuel prices are for real and the care this staff delivers strives to please and impress. Getting to Chicago is also very convenient.

Michael C.

The best FBO I’ve encountered in my 45 years of flying. I was warmly greeted by a staff that couldn’t do enough for me. Their line personnel were extremely courteous and careful during the refueling and turnaround process.

Ralph T.

Aside from great fuel prices, the service was among the best I have ever experienced. 40 minutes to Chicago, great fuel prices and great service… I will definitely come back to B. Coleman.

Ed H.

Can’t say enough good about them. They are happy to see you if you buy 10 gallons of fuel or 250 gallons. Very good service, great prices. I look forward to my future visits.

L.S.