BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is in the midst of a $100 million terminal enhancement program, with some additions already evident and others scheduled for completion this summer.
After moving all AirTran Airways operations to the Southwest Airlines concourse in conjunction with Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran, BWI added a new, four-lane security checkpoint on the lower level near Concourse A. The checkpoint provides access to all Southwest and AirTran gates on Concourses A and B.
Southwest and AirTran also added 16 automated ticketing kiosks, as well as a third curbside check-in location.
Future improvements include a secure connector between Concourses B and C with moving sidewalks and other passenger amenities, as well as an expanded Concourse C facility with improved airline gate hold rooms, and new food and retail space.
BWI Marshall also plans to construct an airside connector to provide direct passenger access between Concourses A, B and C. The post-security connector would allow passenger access between the 14 airline gates on Concourse C with the 26 gates on Concourses A and B. The design includes new moving sidewalks and approximately 8,500 square feet of new food and retail space for travelers.
The expansion is being funded through existing airport-generated revenue sources, said airport spokesperson Jonathan Dean. “Primarily, this means passenger facility charges, which are federally-administered charges on each ticket,” he said.
BWI Marshall has also unveiled a new solar energy project. Working in conjunction with Pepco Energy Services, the airport installed a 505-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the top level of the daily parking garage. The solar installation, which has a lifespan of 20 years, is part of a $20.9 million package of measures designed to reduce energy usage and utility costs at the airport.
Beyond the solar project, the airport also plans to install comprehensive lighting improvements, water conservation measures, central utility plant improvements, and enhanced controllers on escalators and moving sidewalks.
Retail and food stores in place at BWI Marshall report that, due to the airport’s growth in passenger traffic, business has been booming, which is indicated by the arrival of concessions in Terminal A/B such as Obrycki’s A Bar, Jamba Juice, America!, Be Relax and Mayorga Coffee. Other new offerings are planned throughout the A/B Terminal.
Cindy Cernak, who co-owns Obrycki’s with her siblings, said business at BWI has exceeded their expectations. “We’ve added more menu items after originally starting off with just a few food choices,” she said from the venue, which opened in September 2011.
Bill Newlin, who operates Jamba Juice at BWI Marshall, also reported high customer traffic. “Airports are responding to the growing desire of travelers,” he said, “to find healthier options while on-the-go.”