BWI Accounts For More Than Half of Total Cargo Flown Through Region’s Airports Passenger Traffic at Airport Continued Strong Recovery in 2021, Remains Busiest Airport in the Region
Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) set a new annual record for cargo operations in 2021, with more than 618.8 million pounds of cargo transported—an increase of 4% compared to 2020.
In 2021, BWI’s cargo operations accounted for more than 55% of the total air cargo flown through the region’s three major commercial airports. July 2021 marked a record month for cargo shipments at BWI, with nearly 56.3 million pounds of cargo. BWI’s increase in cargo volumes has been fueled by growth of the e-commerce industry during the pandemic. The airport’s 200,000 square-foot Midfield Cargo Building H, which opened in 2019, has helped accommodate cargo increases.
“We are so fortunate to be home to one of the most convenient, efficient, and thriving airports in the nation, and our continued investment at BWI Marshall supports further business development and jobs,” said Governor Hogan. “As Maryland continues to lead the nation in economic recovery, our airport is serving rising passenger demand and expanding business opportunities.”
Passenger traffic also rebounded in 2021, with airline traffic at BWI reaching 18,868,429 passengers last year, an increase of 68% compared to 2020. BWI remains the busiest airport in the Washington-Baltimore region. In June 2021, the governor toured the new Concourse A Extension project, a $48 million improvement project that consisted of a 55,000 square-foot, five gate extension to Concourse A—which included new airline holdrooms and jet bridges—upgraded restrooms, and three new food and retail concessions.
BWI introduced new airline services in 2021, including flights to additional international and domestic markets. In 2022, passenger traffic is expected to increase as more international and domestic routes are added, including three recently announced new airlines—Avelo Airlines, Icelandair, and PLAY Airlines—that will begin service at BWI later this year.
“In recent years, we’ve worked to grow cargo capacity at BWI Marshall Airport by attracting new airline service and building new facilities,” said Ricky Smith, executive director of BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. “The expansion in cargo operations is having a positive impact on the local workforce and our regional economy.”
In 2022, several large-scale capital projects will support airline service and improve the travel experience for BWI customers:
- The $425 million Concourse A/B Connector and Baggage Handling Project will provide a new, sophisticated in-line baggage handling system, as well as a new direct passenger connection between concourses A and B.
- The airport’s $55 million restroom enhancement program will renovate six restroom sets across three concourses to boost the passenger experience.
- A $135 million project will add the first maintenance hangar for Southwest Airlines in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast U.S.
BWI was honored last month with a Voice of the Customer recognition from Airports Council International (ACI). Last year the airport was named the top North American airport in its size category in the ACI ASQ Awards, which recognize global airports for delivery of the best customer service as measured by passengers. In June 2021, BWI received the Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR accreditation for clean and safe public facilities.