The Maryland Board of Public Works has unanimously approved a construction package for major terminal improvements at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The Board authorised a $332.5m contract for A/B connector and baggage handling system improvement at BWI Marshall. The multi-year construction project is the largest terminal enhancement ever for the airport.

The improvements at BWI Marshall will bring a major upgrade to the centre of operations for Southwest Airlines. Improvements advanced by the Board of Public Works will include a new baggage handling system, a direct connection between concourses A and B, expanded holdroom areas at passenger gates, new restrooms and added food and retail concessions space. 

Southwest Airlines is the busiest carrier at BWI Thurgood Marshall, serving about 70% of the airport’s passenger traffic. BWI is one of the busiest airports in the airline’s network, and there are more than 4,000 Southwest employees in this market.

Preliminary work to support the project started early this year, with the major construction approved by the Board set to begin in late 2022. The current schedule calls for completion of the new baggage handling system and the connector in late 2025, with final programme completion in summer 2026. 

In addition to the major terminal improvements, BWI Marshall is also collaborating with Southwest on the airline’s new $135m maintenance facility, its first in the north-eastern United States. Site preparation for this new facility is underway. The 27-acre site will include a hangar to accommodate up to three Boeing 737 aircrafts and an apron space to accommodate up to eight Southwest Airlines jets, along with associated office and workshop space.

Image: BWI Marshall Airport