US President Joe Biden signed on May 17 the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, which includes an additional five-in and five-out slot exemptions at Washington National for flights to domestic airports located within or beyond a 1,250-mile (2,011-kilometre) perimeter.

American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest Airlines have shown interest in taking some of the new slots at Reagan National.

American Airlines has partnered San Antonio International to start direct flights to Washington, D.C. “With Congress increasing the number of long-distance flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), American is thrilled to announce its intent to apply to serve San Antonio International Airport from DCA,” said American's executive vice president of corporate real estate and chief government affairs officer, Nate Gatten.

Alaska Airlines also announced it intends to apply to the DOT for one of the new slot pairs to initiate service from San Diego International to Reagan. The carrier already connects it to each of Seattle Tacoma International, Portland International, San Francisco, and Los Angeles International.

Southwest Airlines told ch-aviation that it intends to apply for a new DCA service once the DOT establishes a proceeding to award the new slots. However, it did not disclose any possible routes. “Today, we’re proud to provide nonstop DCA service from Austin-Bergstrom International, Dallas Love Field, and Houston Hobby,” it added.

ch-aviation has reached out to United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines, and Spirit Airlines for comment on whether they would be interested in applying for the new Reagan National Airport slots. None were immediately available.

The ten new slots should be awarded no later than 60 days after the act's enactment. Each carrier eligible to participate will be allowed to operate no more and no less than two of the newly authorised slot exemptions.

The ch-aviation schedules module shows that American Airlines is Washington National’s largest carrier, holding 53.26% of the weekly capacity and operating 1,702 weekly frequencies.

The Perimeter Rule is a federal regulation dating back to 1966 when jet aircraft began operating at Reagan National.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 was approved with broad bipartisan support in a 387-26 vote. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said in a statement that it provides key safety improvements, invests in infrastructure at nationwide airports, and promotes new solutions, ensuring a healthy general aviation sector for years to come.

The bill authorises the FAA until the full year 2028 and addresses several issues, including directing the FAA to increase air traffic controller hiring targets; it establishes an ombudsman to coordinate responses to submissions of inquiries or objections relating to matters such as aircraft certification and registration, pilot certificates, operational approvals, waivers, or exemptions; and it raises commercial airline pilot's retirement age from 65 to 67, among other topics.