BWI breaks yearly passenger record again

Passengers line up to board their Southwest Airlines flight at Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport in Baltimore, Maryland August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Passengers line up to board their Southwest Airlines flight at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport on Aug. 29, 2012. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport set a record for passenger traffic last year, marking the third consecutive year that the airport broke its own record.

More than 22.6 million travelers flew through BWI Airport in 2012. That number included the more than 2.2 million riders who used BWI in July, setting the airport’s record for passengers in a single month.

“The sustained growth and success at BWI Marshall highlights its position as an important business and tourism gateway, as well as a job generator,” Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said in a statement.

The 22,679,887 passengers who flew through BWI last year bested the 22,391,785 travelers who set the airport’s record in 2011. That number, in turn, had broken a record set in 2010 with 21,936,461 travelers.

Before 2010, the record for travelers in a single year at BWI had been the 21,044,384 mark set in 2007.

Last year also saw the third consecutive year in which July passenger traffic broke the airport record for busiest travel month. The 2.2 million riders in July 2012 broke a record set in July 2011, which had eclipsed the record set in July 2010.

The increase in passengers was one part of a busy year for BWI. A $100 million construction project kicked off in June, while one of the airport’s runways temporarily closed for reconstruction. Spirit Airlines began flying in and out of BWI last September. And the airport began offering free wireless Internet.

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