BWI sets annual passenger record with 25.1 million travelers in 2016

Editor’s note: The following article appeared on www.bizjournals.com on February 7, 2017.

By Joshua Gordon

As Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport looks to expand its terminals and offer a new hotel, the passenger travel continues to grow with a record number of travelers flying out of BWI in 2016.

The airport announced 25.1 million passenger flew out of BWI last year, a new annual record that surpassed the 23.8 million figure recorded in in 2015.

“New airlines and service to new domestic and international destinations have led to steady growth and new records,” BWI CEO Ricky Smith said in a statement. “We continue to emphasize customer service, affordable airline fares, and an efficient travel experience for our passengers. The new passenger record is the highlight of an outstanding year.”

Throughout 2016, BWI set monthly highs and has reached 18 consecutive record-setting months. International passenger traffic reached 1.2 million in 2016, also a new record.

The growing international travel has led BWI to add a $60 million expansion to concourse E, the airport’s international terminal. The project will add 70,000 square feet, six new gates and renovate an existing 20,000 square feet.

In total, the project cost about $100 million when factoring in site work, design and aircraft parking aprons. Concourse E services airlines such as British Airways, Condor, Norwegian and Wow Air.

Last summer, Smith said the airport was still looking into adding nonstop flights to China.

The airport also completed a $125 million connector between concourses D and E in November, adding 135,000 square feet and making travel between the two terminals easier for passengers.

In setting the annual record, a number of BWI’s airlines also saw passenger traffic growth, including Southwest Airlines, the airport’s largest airline; Air Canada; Alaska Airlines; British Airways; Condor; Delta Air Lines; JetBlue Airways; Spirit Airlines; and WOW Air.

BWI is also looking to build a boutique hotel atop the terminal similar to airport hotels in Boston, Detroit and Orlando.

Related news: BWI is adding a $60 million expansion to its international terminal

Source: Baltimore Business Journal

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