By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With a record number of travelers in 2016, Baltimore’s BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport is ramping up for a major expansion.

The plan is to increase travel options and convenience, especially if you’re flying international.

“It will be a new, bright, open, spacious facility that will allow passengers to use it with some ease and some relaxation,” said Ricky Smith, with Maryland Aviation Administration for BWI.

A $60 million project will expand BWI’s international terminal.

The 70,000 square foot improvement will add six new airline gates, and it all comes after 18 months of record-setting growth.

More than 25 million passengers traveled through BWI last year, a new record. It’s an increase in demand that the airport will have to rise to meet.

For BWI travelers, this could mean more options and shorter wait times.

“I say if there’s 25 million, then maybe we do need an expansion,” said BWI traveler Kathy Dixon. “It would be great for Maryland, and I think it’s awesome that people are coming to Maryland.”

“I think in the terminal, where they do the international flights, that possibly they could handle some expansion,” said BWI traveler Diane Harris.

The new space opens the doors for more destinations or more carriers in the future, with BWI officials banking on that record-setting growth to continue.

“We’re very excited about it,” said Smith. “It’s just a sign of what’s to come. BWI is growing and we’re trying to add capacity to make sure our public has a good experience.”

Whiting Turner, a Baltimore company, is the contractor for this project.

The new concourse could be open as early as Thanksgiving 2019.

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