The State of Maryland owns and operates two airports: Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Airport, and Martin State Airport. Both are run by the Maryland Aviation Administration, an agency of the Department of Transportation.


BWI Airport offers both passenger and cargo flights to domestic and international destinations. It is one of the fastest growing large airports in the United States. In 1999, BWI welcomed more than 17.4 million passengers, handled 497 million pounds of air cargo (mail and freight), and was served by 18 passenger airlines and 16 cargo airlines with 702 commercial flights daily. Nonstop flight service is available to 58 domestic and 11 international destinations. Just south of Baltimore City, BWI is in northern Anne Arundel County.

The Airport has a 24-hour U.S. Customs operation and is designated an official port of entry by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1997, BWI was designated as a European gateway for the U.S. Air Force's Air Mobility Command. BWI has a foreign trade zone in the Air Cargo Center, and a 24-hour on-site cold storage facility with scheduled refrigerated trucking to major destinations in the Baltimore-Washington region.

To expand and enhance service and beautify Airport facilities, a multi-million dollar construction program began in 1994 and is continuing. Some 3,400 public parking spaces were added to satellite lots. A 10,500 foot runway now better accommodates long-haul traffic. A new International Pier that includes the Maryland Central Light Rail Line on the lower level opened in 1997. Amtrak and MARC passengers may park in a five-level parking garage. In 1999, construction began on additional gates and other improvements estimated to be worth $72.5 million.


Martin State Airport is one of the largest general aviation facilities on the East Coast. Located in southeastern Baltimore County, the Airport handles primarily private and corporate aircraft. Yet, it is the main base for Maryland's two Air National Guard squadrons; the Aviation Division (MED-EVAC) of the Department of State Police; the Helicopter Unit of the Baltimore City Police; and the Marine Division of Baltimore County. Martin State also has flight schools, hosts the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum, and provides aircraft repair and avionics facilities on-site.

The Airport began in 1929 as an airplane production facility built by Glenn L. Martin, an aviation designer and constructor. Before and during World War II, the facility produced the B-10 and B-26 bombers, the China Clipper, and the Martin Mars planes. Runways also were added during the war period. The State of Maryland purchased 747 acres of the Airport in 1975.

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