It’s BWI in a photo finish

A plane taking off at Reagan National Airport. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post) A plane taking off at Reagan National Airport. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport nosed out the region’s other two big airports for on-time arrival flight honors in August, a mildly meaningful factoid for very frequent fliers and transportation geeks.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says BWI flights were on time 70.5 percent of the time, with Reagan National Airport (68.9 percent on time) and Dulles International Airport (68.7 percent) just a tad behind. Those are the sort of statistics that can be read pretty much any way you want. National is a smaller airport that handles domestic travel and the fewest flights (6,147 arrivals in August) of the three. Dulles has more runways, more flights (6,527 arrivals) and a lot of long-distance international flights. BWI mixes domestic flights with international and is the busiest of the three (8,893 arrivals).

August is the heart of thunderstorm season, so bad weather elsewhere could make for late arrivals even when the Washington region is bathed in sunshine. The nation’s big airlines had an overall on-time arrival rate of 78.8 percent in August, down from the 79.1 percent on-time rate last August, but up from the 73.1 percent mark from July 2013, according to USDOT’s Air Travel Consumer Report released Tuesday. The report said that In August, 33.83 percent of late flights were delayed by weather, down from 32.95 percent in August 2012 and 37.91 percent in July 2013.

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.
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Lori Aratani · October 23, 2013