Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley today acknowledged Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport for 60 years of service to the residents and businesses of Maryland, and to travelers from around the world. Since its dedication as Friendship International Airport on June 24, 1950, the Airport has been a leader in commercial aviation and customer service for the State of Maryland and the entire National Capital region.
“BWI Marshall Airport serves as a vital transportation and economic development asset for the State of Maryland, creating and supporting thousands of jobs in the region while helping to produce billions of dollars in business revenue and personal income,” said Governor O’Malley. “We remain committed to a safe, modern, convenient BWI Marshall Airport that links Maryland with the rest of the country and with the world.”
Friendship International Airport was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman on the morning of June 24, 1950. Scheduled airline service began a month later. The original cost of Friendship International was about $15 million. The State of Maryland purchased Friendship International from the City of Baltimore in 1972 for $36 million. In 1973, the airport’s name was changed to Baltimore/Washington International in order to reflect its importance as a major airport for the entire region.
In its first full year of operation, Friendship International Airport served 211,236 passengers. In 2009, 20.95 million passengers flew through BWI Marshall Airport. Last year, BWI Marshall was the fastest growing major airport in the United States, and one of only two large airports in the entire country to show an increase in passenger traffic for the year. BWI Marshall Airport was recently rated “Best Airport” in the annual Airport Service Quality program for participating global airports that serve between 15 and 25 million passengers.
“Our growth and the recent industry award are important achievements,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, Executive Director of BWI Marshall Airport. “BWI Marshall continues be recognized as a convenient, customer-friendly airport, while offering among the lowest average airfares of any major airport in the country. We will work to ensure that BWI Marshall remains an efficient, user-friendly gateway for travelers.”