Iceland. Jamaica. Japan. Great Britain.
The number of countries doing business in Anne Arundel continues to increase the job opportunities for area residents.
More than 40 companies in the county have foreign owners, placing Anne Arundel fourth in the state just behind Baltimore City and Montgomery and Howard counties in the number of foreign-owned businesses.
The companies in Anne Arundel County with headquarters overseas range from the famous, such as Mercedes Benz of North America, Michelin Tire Corp. and Panasonic Co. East, to the more obscure such as AMBu Inc., a Danish resuscitation equipment manufacturer and Monster Polymers Inc., a Canadian plastics distributor. The home bases of these firms range from Iceland to Jamaica, from Great Britain to Japan.
While their size and business activities vary, most of these international companies share a reason for settling in Anne Arundel County: Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
Last fall, the airport that serves Baltimore and Washington finished runway improvements to accommodate larger international aircraft. Work is now in progress to make the skies even friendlier to Arundel's international business community.
Construction crews are strengthening the terminal roadways to handle heavier international aircraft and work begins this spring on a $139 million international pier.
The two-level, 370,000-square-foot addition is designed to relieve the congestion caused by the recent increase in international travelers.
The new pier will have six gates that can be expanded to 15 and a larger arrivals area to allow customs officials to process 900 international travelers an hour compared to the 500 an hour able to squeeze through now.
The upper level of the new pier at BWI will contain 52 ticket counter positions, a wide variety of concessions and other travel services. The lower level of the new airport facility will house the baggage claim area, the arrival hall, ground transportation services and a light rail transit station providing easy access to Linthicum and Glen Burnie, as well as Baltimore City and eventually all the way to Hunt Valley.
When all the work is done sometime in 1997, international business travelers will have even more reasons to fly through and to Anne Arundel County.