Baltimore-Washington Terminal Project Approved

The Maryland state government has budgeted $332.5 million to invest in the Southwest Airlines stronghold.

Credit: Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/SIPA US/Alamy

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) has been cleared to significantly upgrade its facilities, a face lift that will primarily benefit Southwest Airlines.

Southwest’s largest US east coast airport by far is BWI, where it has around a 70% market share and bases 4,000 employees. The Maryland Board of Public Works signed off Oct. 12 on a $332.5 million construction project at BWI set to commence later this year and be completed by 2026.

“The multi-year construction project is the largest terminal enhancement ever for the airport,” BWI said in a statement.

The project will entail the building of a two-level structure that will serve to directly connect the airport’s A and B councourses. A new baggage handling system will also be installed.  

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said the project is aimed at ensuring BWI “remains a convenient, efficient airport for passengers and a major economic generator for the state and region.”

The project will also include expanded hold-room areas at passenger gates, new restrooms and increased food and retail concessions space.

Major construction [on the A/B connector] approved by the board today is set to begin in late 2022,” the airport said. “The current schedule calls for completion of the new baggage handling system and the connector in late 2025, with final program completion in summer 2026.”

The airport is additionally collaborating with Southwest on a new $135 million maintenance facility being built by the airline at BWI. The 27-acre site will include a hangar to accommodate up to three Boeing 737 aircraft and an apron space to accommodate up to eight Southwest Airlines jets, along with associated office and workshop space, BWI said.