Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan today joined business and state transportation leaders at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to celebrate the opening of the $125 million D/E Connector, a major airport construction project that will improve customer service for BWI Marshall Airport travelers. The D/E Connector provides additional international airline capacity and new passenger services, including a new security checkpoint to serve domestic and international passengers. Important components of the project are now open, before the busy Thanksgiving holiday.
“BWI is an important transportation resource, a crucial economic development engine, and an invaluable asset for our state,” said Governor Hogan. “With this major terminal enhancement project, we are improving and modernizing BWI for our customers, providing new opportunities for expanded international air service, and setting the stage for even more future development. These upgrades are absolutely vital as we continue to support a growing airport and a growing Maryland economy.”
The D/E Connector program includes several elements that will benefit BWI Marshall customers, including the creation of an eight-lane security checkpoint to serve domestic and international travelers, the addition of new food and retail concessions, the construction of a new secure connector between Concourse D and the international Concourse E, and the configuration of airline gates to support added international service. Airport customers also will enjoy a new children’s play area and an outdoor patio space with airfield views.
“These improvements give BWI Marshall the facilities to continue attracting international travelers from Maryland and the National Capital region,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn. “The new passenger amenities will improve customer service for our travelers.”
Secretary Rahn applauded the BWI Marshall Airport team for their efforts to open the new D/E Connector by Thanksgiving, ensuring the region’s busiest airport will be prepared for one of the heaviest travel periods of the year.
The D/E Connector project also includes a gallery featuring art created by regional artists. A five-member jury panel of local educators selected the art during a recent competition. Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan served as chairperson of the panel and was at the airport today to acknowledge the winners. A total of 581 entries were received during the contest, and 28 pieces were selected for the exhibition space.
“This D/E Connector program meets the needs of our passengers and our airline partners,” said BWI Marshall Airport Chief Executive Officer Ricky Smith. “The new services will help ensure a high level of service for our customers as we continue to grow.”
Finishing work on the terminal enhancements will continue through early 2017. Additional new concessions and new restrooms will be added. The former security checkpoints for the D and E concourses will be decommissioned.
BWI Marshall is the 22nd busiest airport in the United States. Commercial airline service at the airport includes more than 300 daily nonstop departures and flights to 80 domestic and international destinations. The airport generates and supports about 98,000 jobs in the region, $7 billion in business revenue, and $3.8 billion in personal income.
BWI Marshall continues to set records for passenger traffic, with new airlines and flights to new markets. In 2015, BWI Marshall set a new all-time annual record with nearly 24 million passengers. Strong growth has continued this year, with 15-straight monthly passenger records through September 2016.