Throughout Maryland are 36 public-use airports. A vital element of commerce, the aviation industry brings in $7.8 billion in business revenue and $0.6 billion in taxes to the State.
Terminal Building entrance, BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland, September 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Today, the State of Maryland owns and operates two airports: Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Martin State Airport. Both are run by the Maryland Aviation Administration, an agency of the Department of Transportation.
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is one of the fastest growing large airports in the United States. Ranked as the region's busiest airport, BWI's operations produce $9.3 billion in total economic activity, 106,488 jobs, and $591.9 million in taxes. Just south of Baltimore City, the Airport lies on nearly 3,600 acres in northern Anne Arundel County.
Airlines. Thirty-six airlines (including commuter, charter & cargo airlines) serve BWI with 670 commercial daily flights passing through its 5 concourses and 73 gates. BWI offers both passenger and cargo flights to nearly 90 domestic and international sites, with daily nonstop flights available to over 80 domestic and 13 international nonstop destinations as of January 31, 2019. Six airlines offer international flights at BWI as of June 30, 2019.
Passengers. As of January 2018, BWI has broken monthly passenger records 29 times over the past two and a half years.
In 2018, more than 27.15 million passengers flew through BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, with an average of 74,372 per day, an all-time record high. In 2016, over 1.23 million international passengers passed through BWI, the second year that the Airport had passed the million per year milestone.
In July 2015, some 2,364,872 passengers travelled through BWI, and international passengers numbered 137,791.
Cargo. Five cargo airlines operate out of BWI's 395,000-square-foot Air Cargo Center. Cargo shipped from BWI includes aircraft parts, chemical products, machinery and parts, mail, pharmaceuticals, and seafood. In 2016, the Airport handled nearly 120,000 metric tons of cargo (mail & freight). BWI also handled 248,247 aircraft operations.
In October 2018, BWI ranked tenth on Condé Nast Traveler's Best Airports in the U.S.: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards due to its access to transit, amenities for passengers, and efficiency.
In 2014, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ranked BWI first for healthful meal options, with over 90% of restaurants offering at least one healthy meal option.
In 2009, the Airports Council International ranked BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport first for airport service quality among airports around the world that served 15 to 25 million passengers annually.
Providing a 24-hour U.S. Customs operation, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is designated an official port of entry by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1997, the Airport also was designated as a European gateway for the U.S. Air Force's Air Mobility Command. In addition, the Airport has a foreign trade zone in the Air Cargo Center. With scheduled refrigerated trucking to major destinations in the Baltimore-Washington region, the Airport offers on site a 24-hour cold storage facility.
To expand and enhance service and beautify Airport facilities, a multi-million dollar construction program began in 1994 and continues. Some 3,400 public parking spaces were added to satellite lots, and a new daily parking garage opened in 2002. Since completion in 2003, the garage offers 8,400 parking spaces with a "Smart Park" vehicle guidance system to help travelers find an open parking space. As of 2016, there are 31,300 parking spaces available at BWI, including those in the holiday and overflow lots and the rail station. A 10,500-foot runway now better accommodates long-haul traffic.
Opened in 1997, an international pier, called the Governor William Donald Schaefer International Terminal, includes the Maryland Central Light Rail Line on its lower level (Chapter 702, Acts of 1994; Code Transportation Article, sec. 5-413). Amtrak and MARC passengers may park in a five-level parking garage.
Martin State Airport Control Tower, 701 Wilson Point Road, Middle River, Maryland, October 2016. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
Martin State Airport began in 1929 as an airplane production facility built by Glenn L. Martin, an aviation designer and constructor. Before and during World War II, the Glen L. Martin Aircraft Company produced the B-10 and B-26 bombers, the China Clipper, and the Martin Mars planes at the facility. Runways also were added during the War period.
In 1961, the Martin Company merged with the American Marietta Corporation to form the Martin Marietta Corporation. The State of Maryland purchased 747 acres of the Airport in 1975 from the Martin Marietta Corporation.
Flights arriving at Martin State Airport from international locations began to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2016.
In 2017, the Airport generated nearly $8.5 million in revenues and handled nearly 85,000 aircraft operations. In 2014, Martin State Airport generated $287 million in business revenue for Maryland.
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Martin State Airport, 701 Wilson Point Road, Baltimore, Maryland, October 2018. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
Passenger plane, Easton Airport, 29137 Newnam Road, Easton, Maryland, May 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
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