Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is located about 10 miles south of Baltimore, Maryland, and about 30 miles from Washington, DC. Although Baltimore and Washington, DC had two airports, Logan Field and College Park Airport, the decision was made to build a new airport for both cities and the area around them. 3,200 acres was selected next to Friendship Church in Maryland.
Construction began in 1947 and the new airport was named Friendship International Airport. The President of the United States, Harry Truman, dedicated the airport in 1950. It opened about a month later. As time went on, the airport grew and received more air traffic and passengers. In 1972, the Friendship International Airport was purchased by the State of Maryland from the City of Baltimore. The price of the transaction was 36 million dollars. One year later, the airport was renamed the Baltimore/Washington International Airport. Under the new ownership, a renovation was schedule for the airport.
In 1974, various facilities and equipment were added including new cargo terminals. The passenger terminal was remodeled in 1979. Over the years, the airport continued to expand by adding new facilities and updating equipment. In 1991, a new parking garage with 2,800 spaces opened. In 2005, the airport changed names in honor of Baltimore native Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The new name is the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
There are five concourses at the international airport in Baltimore. Concourses A and B merged during the remodel in 2005. These concourses have 26 gates. The third concourse is Concourse C, and it has 14 gates. Concourse D has 38 gates. Concourse E, which is known as the William Donald Schafer International Terminal, opened in 1997. It has six gates and receives the majority of international flights.
Baltimore Airport Facilities
There are four runways at the Thurgood Marshall Airport. The longest runway is 10,502 feet. The shortest runway is 5,000 feet. The other two runways are 6,000 and 9,501 feet respectively. All of the runways are made out of asphalt.
The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport has a number of great parking options in which to select. At the Hourly Garage, people can park their vehicles and walk to the terminal. This parking option is the closest to the terminal and has good rates for folks who plan to stay for a brief amount of time. In addition to this, the garage has technology called “Smart Park” to guide drivers to the empty space in the parking area. For folks who are planning to park their vehicle at the airport for most of the day, parking at the Daily Garage is an excellent choice.
With over 7,000 spaces that are protected from the elements and additional parking outside, it is a great place to park. Express Parking is convenient and quick. Travelers can park their vehicle in this area and be picked up by a shuttle that brings them to the terminal. When they come back, the shuttle brings them back to their vehicle. Long Term Parking at the airport is not that far away from the main terminal. There are four lots and they are Lots A, B, C and D. A diligent shuttle service brings travelers to and from the terminal in a timely manner. Shuttle waiting areas at each lot are protected from the weather. Furthermore, Long Term Parking has great, long-term rates. People who prefer to wait in their vehicles while their travelers arrive can stay at the Cell Phone Lot. The lot is free and has 50 parking places.
More than half of all passengers at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) are carried by Southwest Airlines. Serving 12.7 million passengers annually at BWI, Southwest garners 58.9 percent of the BWI market share, well above any of the airport’s other 26 commercial airlines. A focus city or “mini-hub” for Southwest, BWI expanded its Concourses A and B for Southwest’s use. The airline flies to 51 cities, including the airport’s top 5 destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Orlando and Detroit. In 1993, Southwest began serving passengers at BWI, which makes up the airline’s third largest market. Southwest maintains an East Coast flight attendant crew base and pilot base at the airport.
Southwest subsidiary, AirTran, is the second busiest airline at BWI, with 12.88 percent of the airport’s market share. AirTran makes one of its hubs at BWI, where it acquires the airline’s second largest number of passengers. AirTrans makes 48 daily non-stop flights to 19 destinations via BWI. For domestic flights, AirTrans uses seven gates at BWI’s Concourse B; Southwest uses the remaining Concourse B gates. AirTran provides international service to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Delta Airlines is the third largest airline at BWI, serving 1.8 million passengers a year for 8.4 percent of the market share. At BWI’s Concourse D, Delta operates flights to and from Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Salt Lake City.
US Airways’ business accounts for 5.3% of the market share at BWI, serving nearly 1.2 million passengers. With flights to and from Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Phoenix, US Airways uses Concourse D.
United Airlines flies more than 930,000 passengers to and from BWI each year, accounting for 4.3 percent of the airport’s market share. Along with its flight-connection service United Express, United Airlines offers daily flights to Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco. United Airlines’ flights departures and arrivals are made at BWI’s Concourse D.
Other airlines serving BWI include Spirit Airlines and JetBlue. Spirit offers daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth and twice daily flights to Fort Lauderdale, all departing from and arriving at Concourse C. Jet Blue offers service to Boston via Concourse D.
International flights to Aruba, Cancun, London, Montego Bay, Nassau and Toronto are available through BWI Air Canada, AirTran and British Airways. Seasonal flights to Bermuda, Frankfurt, and Punta Cana are offered by Condor and Frontier Airlines. All international flights depart from and arrive at Concourse E.