As The Sun reported Saturday, BWI Marshall Airport's on-time percentages for both arrivals and departures have taken a tumble this year. February's twin snowstorms were a big part of the reason, but data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show that weather was also a big factor this summer.
To put it bluntly, the weather this summer at BWI stank -- even when compared with nearby airports.
Nationwide, the percentage of delayed flights in which weather was listed as the cause hovered iin the 35-40 percent range in June through August. However, at BWI weather-related delays accounted for more than 50 percent of the total in both June and July and were about 45 percent in August. Even Washington's Reagan National Airport didn't come close.
Another measure, the percentage of delays caused by the air traffic control system that are weather-related, was even more stark. Nationally, the percentage of these delayed arrivals that are weather related hovers around 70 percent during the summer. At BWI this June, the percentage was almost 90 percent, and July wasn't much better.
There were other factors that influenced Baltimore's fall to 17th in on-time arrivals and 26th in on-time departures among 29 major U.S. airports ranked by the bureau. But summer storms were undeniably a factor. For departures, the summer brought on-time percentages of 72 percent in June, 70 percent in July and 75 percent in August. That's worse than the national averages and a little worse than the typical Baltimore summer.
But hot, stormy summers with a lot of flight delays are not unusual for Baltimore. BWI's on-time performance for departures typically dips into the 70s -- and sometimes into the 60s -- during the summer months then improves in the fall. September through November, the airport typically scores in the high 80s.
So when you take a look at BWI after eight months of the year, it's unlikely to be a pretty picture. Its worst months are in the books and its best are yet to come.