The U.S. Department of Transportation secretary announced on Wednesday that Baltimore-Washington International Airport will receive a $3.5 million grant toward expanding a midfield cargo apron.
The federal money will reimburse BWI for adding more deicing areas in the midfield section of the airport. With the additional positions, planes can now deice on the apron in the winter instead of crossing runways and taxiways, ideally making the process safer and faster.
Expanding the apron — an area away from the runway where airplanes are parked — allows the airport to accommodate more aircraft activity, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a news release.
“We appreciate the federal funding which will help support a safe, efficient airfield for our customers and our airline partners,” BWI spokesman Jonathan O. Dean said in an email.
The $3.5 million comes from the Airport Improvement Program, a $3.18 billion grant program run by the FAA.
“These Airport Improvement Program grants will ensure that a safer, more efficient Baltimore-Washington International Airport remains an economic engine and vital infrastructure component for its community,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement.
A separate request from BWI to Maryland for $60 million in funding to expand Concourse A will go before the state Board of Public Works on Thursday.
If the board — which is composed of Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp — approves the funding, it will expand the concourse to handle the growth of Southwest Airlines, which accounted for 68 percent of the airport's passengers in 2017.
Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.