BWI airport to get $250m makeover

19 April 2015 (Last Updated April 19th, 2015 18:30)

The Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport officials are considering a $250m major expansion plan.

The Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport officials are considering a $250m major expansion plan.

The state has set aside $200,000 for the preliminary design work for a $126m project that could see the addition of two gates to the international E concourse for departures and almost six gates for arrivals, according to The Baltimore Sun.

This investment is on top of a $125m project to connect the D and E concourse, create a broader security checkpoint for both and add two gates to shuttle between domestic and international service.

The Board of Public Works had given its approval for the final construction funding for the D/E Connector project last month and the project is expected to be completed in 2017.

Officials are saying they are investing in expansion to meet the increasing number of passengers at the airport.

The Maryland Aviation Administration said that while there had been a 1.8% drop in domestic passengers last year, the airport saw a 13.5% increase in international passengers.

The Baltimore Sun reported that entry of the airport's largest carrier Southwest Airlines in the international market could be the trigger for the increase.

The carrier's international plans at the airport were given a push by its acquisition of AirTran. Southwest now operates or plans to operate flights from BWI to destinations including Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Aruba.

Recently, the airport also launched a new biometric technology to enhance its security screening.