LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) — Some people are not happy over a multi-million dollar renovation at BWI that was approved this week over objection from those upset about noise.
Maryland’s spending board approved a $55 million renovation that would put in five new gates in the Southwest terminal at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport over the objections of some living near the airport.
“We can’t have that until we get relief from the noise crisis we’re in now,” said Barbara Deckert of Elkridge.
She has been upset at the FAA since 2014 when the agency shifted flight patterns.
“When the FAA re-routed these planes, they had no interest whatsoever in what was under these flight paths… and it’s really making people miserable,” she said.
Comptroller Peter Franchot agreed and voted no on the airport renovations to send a message to the FAA. “The way to get the FAA’s attention is to get Southwest involved in this,” Franchot said at the Board of Public Works last Thursday.
Governor Larry Hogan voted for the renovation, saying he will “do everything humanly possible” to fight noise pollution.
But Hogan said the renovation project has nothing to do with noise.
“The FAA could care less about what we’re doing,” he said. “These are not mutually exclusive goals.”
The multi-million-dollar project would add new gates and improve restrooms at Concourse A.
It would also upgrade the out-of-date baggage system.
The old gates would cycle out of service when the new ones go online, and the Board of Public Works agreed not to expand capacity until the noise issue is resolved.
The FAA cut off discussion with the state after Maryland took legal action over the noise.
Deckert and others worry they won’t get noise relief any time soon.
“It’s affecting literally hundreds of thousands of people in the area who never used to have a problem,” she said.
The renovations to the Southwest terminal and baggage claim are expected to be completed by July 2020.
Almost 7 in 10 passengers fly Southwest. Baltimore is the airline’s largest hub.