Con­course con­nec­tion for­mally opens at BWI

Year­long pro­ject’s fea­tures in­clude more ef­fi­cient se­cu­rity, chil­dren’s play area

Baltimore Sun - - NATION - By Colin Camp­bell cm­camp­bell@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/cm­camp­bell6

A $105 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion pro­ject at BWI Mar­shall Air­port that of­fi­cially opened Tues­day fea­tures a larger up­graded se­cu­rity check­point, more shops and restau­rants, a chil­dren’s play area, a gym, an art gallery and even an out­door ob­ser­va­tion deck.

The year­long pro­ject con­nects the D and E con­courses, al­low­ing do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­gers and flights at both — part of a long-term mas­ter plan to con­nect all five of the air­port’s con­courses.

Gov. Larry Ho­gan, first lady Yumi Ho­gan, Trans­porta­tion Sec­re­tary Pete Rahn and BWI Air­port CEO Ricky Smith cut the rib­bon Tues­day on the new se­cu­rity check­point at an event at­tended by more than 200 peo­ple.

The D/E Con­nec­tor “im­proves and mod­ern­izes BWI Mar­shall for our cus­tomers and pro­vides new op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­panded in­ter­na­tional ser­vice,” Ho­gan said. “This work also sets the stage for even more fu­ture devel­op­ment here at BWI.”

The eight-lane se­cu­rity check­point can serve both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers, re­plac­ing the air­port’s old­est and slow­est se­cu­rity line — “a ma­jor up­grade in of­fer­ing an im­proved travel ex­pe­ri­ence for our pas­sen­gers,” the gov­er­nor said.

Smith noted that the D/E Con­nec­tor de­buted the week be­fore Thanks­giv­ing, which is al­ways among the air­port’s busiest.

“We could not get this fa­cil­ity open at a bet­ter time,” he said.

The first lady, an art pro­fes­sor, chaired a com­mit­tee that se­lected 28 pieces of art out of 580 that were of­fered for the air­port by artists in Maryland and Wash­ing­ton.

Yumi Ho­gan said the group wore hard hats to scope out the ren­o­va­tion even be­fore it was fin­ished.

Al­most ev­ery­one who flies has ex­pe­ri­enced a scream­ing child on their flight, Rahn said, as he an­nounced the new “Airplay Zone,” a chil­dren’s play­room near the D con­course.

“We will be en­cour­ag­ing all par­ents with small chil­dren to wear them out be­fore the plane,” he said.

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