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Baltimore International Airport Information

Although it may be more commonly known as BWI, the name of Baltimore's main airport is actually much longer. The official name is Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The airport obtained its current name in 2005 after it had been called Baltimore/Washington International Airport for over 30 years. The name was changed to honor the life of Baltimore native Thurgood Marshall, who was the first African American citizen to serve as a justice of the United States Supreme Court. Although citizens of the area are proud to honor the former justice, most of them use the shorter BWI name to identify the airport.

BWI is one of the largest and busiest airports in the United States because it serves two major metropolitan areas that happen to be located in close proximity to each other – Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Its location is highly convenient for residents of these cities and the people who must travel to and from them frequently for business or political reasons. It is located approximately 10 miles south of the city of Baltimore, and just over 30 miles northeast of the nation's capital in Washington, D.C. With its ability to serve so many passengers, BWI has seen increased business each year it operates. Recently, estimates have established that the airport serves over 20-million passengers each year.

To take advantage of changing wind speeds and directions, as well as numerous different types of aircraft, BWI is set up with several different runways. Two runways are used for departures and landings when the wind comes from the north or south, while two other runways are utilized for times when the winds come from the east or west. A smaller runway is set aside for smaller aircraft and private planes. These runways are paved with durable asphalt, and they have been built to accommodate a wide range of aircraft including planes as large as the Boeing 767.

BWI features a terminal configuration that consists of five different concourses. Concourses A and B were essentially combined during renovations that happened during 2005, and they feature a total of 26 gates. Concourse C features a total of 14 gates. Concourse D is the airport's largest with a total of 38 passenger gates. Interestingly, one end of this concourse is blocked off to separate a section that is used for smaller, regional flights. Concourse E has just 6 gates, and it is used primarily for international flights.

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