BWI to Eclipse Neighboring Airports in Passenger Counts

Part of BWI's success comes from its accessibility, according to industry analysts.

While much discussion about Maryland's transportation network has , its major airport has been preparing for takeoff to become the region's most utilized.

BWI served 22.4 million passengers last year, more than 3 million beyond Reagan's passenger count and just 800,000 passengers shy of Dulles', according to The Washington Post.

On a daily basis, BWI reports that it serves 61,347 passengers.

The Washington Post attributed some of its success to its accessibility.

In 2007, BWI was ranked among the "Top 10 Easiest Airports to Get to" by aviation industry analysts. Located near major highways like MD 295 and 95, BWI also offers rail service through Amtrak, MARC and light rail. By 2016, the Maryland Department of Transportation is scheduled to complete a fourth track and new platform to support additional riders.

The merger of Southwest with AirTran has also contributed to airport's attractiveness to passengers, said The Washington Post.

Together, the two airlines account for more than 70 percent of the airport's traffic, according to BWI's reports

On April 11, Southwest rolled out the first of its new Boeing 800-series jets at BWI, a move The Washington Post said "symbolized the growth of an airport that...might soon surpass the number [of passengers] at Dulles International."

In the next two years, Southwest will add approximately 70 more of these jets, which accomodate 30 more passengers than the Boeing 737, reported The Baltimore Sun.

The large jet will stay at BWI as its home base, and could enable the airport to add new routes and longer flights, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The executive director of the Maryland Aviation Administration told The Sun that the plane "'opens up opportunities for Southwest and it opens up opportunities for us.'"

Adam R April 15, 2012 at 07:04 PM
BWI Airport: the best thing MDOT has gotten right in the last twenty years. My only complaint is they are putting all their eggs in one basket with Southwest Airlines. I regularly fly on other Airlines. If Southwest ever goes down (currently #1 US Airline) it could be devastating for our local economy. The good things about BWI: we are a model for security nationwide, we have plenty of long and short term offsite parking on RT 170, the Airline workers all park and shuttle from Ridge Road, and all the rental car companies are off site too. These improvements have kept the drop off lanes to mostly shuttle buses, and limos and cabs, making it a breeze to pick family up at the baggage claim areas. Well done MDOT!


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