Maryland board approves BWI international concourse extension

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved an expansion of BWI's international concourse.

The Board of Public Works has unanimously approved BWI Marshall Airport's plan to expand and improve Concourse E, the airport's international terminal facility.

The board, chaired by Gov. Larry Hogan, approved a $60 million contract Wednesday for Baltimore-based Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. to build a three-level, 70,000-square-foot extension to the terminal where international flights arrive and depart.

The construction will extend the international Concourse E and modernize elements of the existing terminal, according to airport officials. The construction will add six new airline gates — two full-service gates with airline hold rooms and four arrival-only gates, bringing the total number of gates to 14. The new gates are scheduled to be available for travelers in summer 2018.

The approval follows an announcement made this week by Hogan that Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport set a new record in 2016, with more than 25.1 million passengers.

"BWI continues to set records, and this expansion highlights the continued success of our airport, as well as Maryland's flourishing economy," Hogan said in a statement. "This expansion will create new job opportunities for hardworking Marylanders, while bringing greater ease and efficiency to international travel, tourism, and trade."

Other features will include a new electrical substation, added restrooms, new mechanical and electrical support spaces, an extension of the sterile corridor system to connect with the federal inspection station, and space for additional baggage operations, airline officials said in a statement.

"This next phase of terminal development will ensure BWI Marshall has the capacity to support growing international service," BWI CEO Ricky Smith said in a statement.

BWI officials began planning in 2015 for a major expansion of international service. A $125 million project that was completed in November connected the E concourse with the domestic D concourse and created a new, broader security checkpoint for both.

Project costs are expected to total $100 million, including the $60 million construction contract, with the rest going to design and planning work, aircraft apron parking and other work.

The airport set 18 straight monthly passenger records through the end of 2016, aided by an increase in international traffic.

In 2016, more than 1.2 million airport passengers flew nonstop to and from international destinations — a new BWI Marshall record.

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