By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 02, 2001 12:42 PM
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President Bush will authorize the reopening of Washington D.C.’s Ronald Reagan National Airport with new security measures, allowing a limited number of flights at the only commercial airport left dark since the Sept. 11 hijackings, administration officials said Monday. On Monday, the president signed off on a new security package at a White House meeting, reports the Associated Press. He is expected to announce his plans as early as Tuesday, said several officials involved in the discussions. Reagan National Airport, which is actually in Arlington, Va., has remained closed (and federal officials even considered keeping it closed for good) because of its proximity to the White House, the Capitol and the Pentagon. A plane hijacked from Virginia’s Dulles International Airport farther out from the city slammed into the Pentagon exactly three weeks ago today, shortly after two other planes struck the World Trade Center in New York. A fourth plane crashed in an open field in Pennsylvania. Virginia lawmakers have urged the White House to reopen Reagan, which is a major source of jobs in the Washington area. Officials said the airport could open in a matter of days or weeks under new security rules, which include limiting the number of incoming and outgoing flights and placing air marshals on all planes using the airport.