LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) — New additions are coming to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport as more people are anxious to take to the skies and check off items on their travel bucket lists.

Gov. Larry Hogan and other local leaders Monday unveiled the improvements to Concourse A, home to Southwest Airlines, all part of a $48 million project.

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“We strongly believe in investing in the airport infrastructure,” he said.

The 55,000 sq. foot expansion adds five gates, new airline hold rooms, jet bridges and local restaurants like Miss Shirley’s.

But what impressed Hogan the most?

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“Secretary Slater has been bragging to me for several months about the world-class bathrooms that they put in here, that they set a new bar for airports across the country to follow this,” Hogan said as he toured the airport.

State Secretary of Transportation Gregory Slater was also in attendance and said: “It’s really about modernizing the airport so that BWI-Marshall can really be the foundation for growth and also be the airport for the next generation.”

On Thursday, the airport screened more than 24,000 travelers, marking the busiest day since the pandemic started.

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“It was an eerie feeling to have a terminal of this significance, of this size, so underutilized,” explained Ricky Smith, Executive Director of BWI-Marshall Airport. “So, it’s certainly a sign that we’re recovering, that the marketplace is coming back,” he said.

Rachel Menitoff