Washington Reagan National is the only major airport in the United States that is still closed, and a senior Bush administration official said Saturday it may remain closed for "a long time" as officials search for a safe way to bring flights in and out of an airport so near to potential terrorist targets.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that when National reopens, it will likely be permitted fewer flights and will be limited to aircraft smaller than the Boeing 757 that have used the airport until now.
Takeoffs and landings probably will be allowed to and from the south only.
The Federal Aviation Administration kept National Airport closed Saturday even as every other major airport in the nation was open for business. The FAA permitted roughly 120 planes stranded by the shutdown to fly away from National, but only during limited hours and only to the south and without any passengers.