Observation deck

Bryan Erb of Baltimore and his one year old daughter Brinley walk along the window in the observation area at BWI airport. (Baltimore Sun photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor / August 2, 2011)

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport posted its best month ever in terms of passenger count in July, with 2.2 million fliers landing at or taking off from the airport, the Maryland Aviation Administration said Tuesday.

The total represented a 1.6 percent increase over July 2010, the top previous month for BWI passengers.

The new record did not come as a surprise. The airport has been enjoying steady growth in recent years, posting monthly passenger records in 14 of the past 15 months.

Airport traffic has grown for each of the past 17 months and 25 of the past 26 months. For the most recent 12-month period, BWI traffic is up 5.2 percent to 22.5 million, airport officials said.

Southwest Airlines, BWI's dominant carrier, also posted a record month at the airport. Southwest served 1.2 million passengers in July, a 3.5 percent increase over July 2010. BWI said Delta, JetBlue, USAirways and American Airlines also reported significant increases during the month.

Michael.dresser@baltsun.com