BWI Airport Limo Service


Planning for a new airport on 3,200 acres (1,300 ha) to serve the Baltimore/Washington area began just after the end of World War II. Ground was broken in 1947.[12] Located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland next to the site where Friendship Methodist Church stood until 1948,[13] Friendship International Airport was dedicated on June 24, 1950, by President Harry Truman. The following month the airlines moved to the new airport from Harbor Field (southeast of Baltimore at 39.25°N 76.53°W). The Official Airline Guide for April 1957 shows 52 weekday departures: 19 Eastern, 12 Capital, 8 American, 4 National, 3 TWA, 3 United, 2 Delta and 1 Allegheny. Miami had a couple of nonstops, but westward nonstop flights didn't reach beyond Ohio; Baltimore's reach expanded when jet service started in 1958–59. The early Boeing 707s and Douglas DC-8s couldn't use Washington National, and Dulles didn't exist until 1962, so Baltimore became Washington's jet airport, with transcon flights.[14]

The State of Maryland, through the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), purchased Friendship International Airport from the City of Baltimore for $36 million in 1972. Under MDOT, the Maryland State Aviation Administration took over airfield operations and grew from three employees to more than 200. Plans to upgrade, improve, and modernize all Maryland airport facilities were announced almost immediately by the Secretary of Transportation, Harry Hughes. To attract passengers from the Washington area, the airport was renamed Baltimore/Washington International Airport in 1973.[15]

The first phase of BWI modernization was completed in 1974 at a cost of $30 million. Upgrades included improved instrument landing capabilities and runway systems, and construction of three new air cargo terminals, expanding the airport's freight capacity to 2.53 acres (1.02 ha).[15]

The passenger terminal renovation program was complete in 1979, the most dramatic work of the airport's modernization. The BWI terminal more than doubled in size to 14.58 acres (59,000 m²); the number of gate positions increased from 20 to 27. The total cost of project was $70 million. To continue the work, the BWI Development Council was established to support initiatives for airport development.[15]

The BWI Rail Station opened in 1980, providing a rail connection to passengers on the busy Northeast Corridor though Amtrak. BWI became the first airport in the U.S. to be served by a dedicated intercity rail station.[16] In particular, the station provided relatively easy transit access to Washington, D.C., something Washington Dulles International Airport currently lacks. In 1997, a new international terminal (Concourse E) was added,[17] though Dulles continues to hold the lion's share of the region's international flights, and BWI has not attracted many long-haul international carriers. British Airways has had a presence at BWI for many years. AerLingusAir JamaicaAir ArubaAir GreenlandEl AlGhana AirwaysIcelandairKLM,Ladeco, and Mexicana previously flew to BWI. Military flights, operated by the U.S. Air Force's Air Mobility Command, continue to have a significant presence at BWI.[citation needed]

Beginning in the 1980s, and later for much of the 1990s, BWI was a major hub for Piedmont Airlines and successor US Airways, but that airline's financial difficulties in the wake of the dot-com bust, the September 11 attacks, and intense low fare competition forced it to significantly reduce its presence at the airport. The airport has been a major haven for low-cost flights in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan Area since Southwest Airlines' arrival in September 1993 and subsequent expansion in the early 2000s. Southwest is the airport's largest carrier, accounting for 56.12% of passengers carried in 2011.[18] With the recent acquisition of AirTran AirwaysSouthwest Holdings currently serves on average 214 daily departures to destinations in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. BWI is now Southwest's 3rd most-served destination and might soon be the airlines 2nd due to the airline's fast increasing presence.[19] BWI has International flights to London, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean and domestic flights throughout the United States.