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Bulova gives ‘State of the County’ address

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova released her annual “State of the County” video Wednesday. It is available on YouTube and will air on the county’s cable channel, Channel 16.

In the 20-minute video, Bulova highlights redevelopment and growth efforts around the county, including Tysons Corner, Merrifield, the Springfield Mall area, Lorton and the new development around Fort Belvoir.

She also discusses the upcoming challenge the board will face as it prepares to work on the county budget for fiscal 2014. County Executive Ed Long will present the budget Tuesday.

View Bulova’s video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbSbVvAiRZ4&feature=youtu.be

Region’s airports set new travel records

More than 42 million passengers traveled through the region’s airports in 2012, according to an annual report from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that was released Wednesday.

Included in the total are 19.7 million passengers at Reagan National and 6.7 million international passengers at Dulles International, both of which are new records for the airports. Domestic passenger travel at Dulles experienced a slight decline.

“Dulles continues to lead the way as the region’s premier international gateway,” airports authority President and CEO Jack Potter said in a released statement. “Overall, Washington’s airports grew in passenger service during 2012. This puts us in a very good position for continued success going forward at Reagan National and Dulles International.”

National’s 2012 passenger traffic increase of 4.1 percent exceeded the U.S. industry growth average of less than 1 percent, which the authority credits to new service added at the airport last year.

International passenger travel grew by 2 percent at Dulles, the ninth-consecutive year of growth since 2003. New service to Dulles in 2012 added more than 70 international flights per week.

International service will continue to expand in 2013. On March 31, Etihad will add daily service to Abu Dhabi, making Dulles the second-largest U.S. gateway to the Middle East. Dulles will further see the addition of new carrier Brussels Airlines in mid-2013 and new service on United to Guatemala, Costa Rica and Vancouver.

County acquires new parkland in three districts

The Fairfax County Park Authority recently acquired several parcels of parkland in Braddock, Mount Vernon and Springfield Districts. The new acquisitions include donations and property transfers. The seven parcels total just more than 32 acres and bring the Park Authority’s land holdings up to 23,228 acres.

Five parcels totaling about 14 acres were donated by John McPherson within the Paul Springs Stream Valley in the Mount Vernon District. The parcels are undeveloped, protected areas within the flood plain and are adjacent to Paul Spring Parkway. They are located next to existing Park Authority land and will increase connectivity within the stream valley park.

The former Kings West Swim Club at 4803 Tapestry Drive in the Braddock District was donated to the Park Authority by the Kings West community. The 8.9-acre property is mostly located within the resource protection area of Rabbit Branch. The land will be returned to its natural state through a cooperative effort between the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and the Park Authority and is expected to be completed in May.

The Lincoln Lewis Vannoy facility in Springfield consists of two properties. The first, a 31-acre parcel, was transferred to the Park Authority in 2011; however the second parcel required division prior to transfer as the Board of Supervisors retained 5.2 acres adjacent to Braddock Road. Following this division, 9.5 acres was transferred to the Park Authority. The property is in the Springfield District at the intersection of Braddock Road and Willow Springs School Road.