Part of New Parking Garage Open The first phase of the new nine-story daily parking garage at Baltimore-Washington International Airport opened Saturday. It will provide 3,000 more parking spaces. When the garage is finished, it will have 8,400 spaces and include the "smart park" automated system that directs travelers to available spaces.

The new garage, part of the airport's $1.8 billion expansion program, is off Route 170 (Aviation Boulevard) at Elm Road next to the Sheraton International Hotel. The parking rate is $2 an hour, with a maximum of $11 a day. For more information about construction and changes at BWI, log on to BWI's Web site at www.bwiairport.com.

Travel Advice During a Busy Time BWI officials say they expect more than 648,000 passengers to use the airport in an 11-day period that began last Friday and continues through Monday.

Officials anticipate that Sunday will be the busiest, with more than 77,000 passengers. They suggest that travelers check in no more than one and a half hours before their flight's scheduled departure.

They also advise passengers not to pack sharp objects such as scissors, knives, blades and tools.

For more safety-related information, visit the Transportation Security Administration's Web site at www.tsa.gov.

Passengers Increase 19 Percent More than 1.4 million passengers used BWI in September, an increase of about 19 percent from September 2001. Nationwide, the Air Transport Association reported a 28 percent increase for the same period.

BWI officials say the airport's statistics lagged behind the national figures because BWI was busier in September 2001 than other airports because Reagan National Airport was shut down and Southwest Airlines, the airport's leading carrier, did not reduce its flights after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

International travel at BWI, however, saw a decrease of more than 10 percent compared with September 2001.

-- Compiled by Alicia Cypress