With New York's new LaGuardia in full service and Kansas City's new terminal almost ready to open, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is next in line for a full modernization.
BWI, located between Baltimore and Washington, will get a number of major improvement including a new baggage handling system, but perhaps most significantly, there will be an airside connection between Terminals A and B, meaning that for the first time passengers making connections between the two will not have to go through security again.
The connection is significant: 70% of BWI's passengers are on Southwest, and it is Southwest's biggest East Coast transfer hub, connecting routes to dozens of additional cities. The total cost of the upgrades is set at $332.5 million, including improved gate areas, concessions and shopping.
To the surprise of many, by the way, BWI is by far the busiest of the three DC area airports; its nearly 9.5 million passengers last year was almost as many as Dulles and Reagan National airports combined. Even before the pandemic, it was the busiest in the area with over 13 million passengers.
In a separate project, the airport is collaborating with Southwest to build a new maintenance base for Southwest. Without on-site maintenance, mechanical problems can cause flight delays and cancelations, so Southwest is hopeful the new base will smooth operations.