Runway 4-22 at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was closed permanently on August 6. As part of a multi-year, comprehensive series of airfield improvements, Runway 4-22 will be converted to a taxiway.
BWI Marshall’s has two major commercial runways—Runway 15R-33L and Runway 10-28. During the multi-year airfield programme, Runway 10-28, remains open and available for use by airlines. Runway 15R-33L is currently temporarily closed to complete a major reconstruction project.
Since 2010, BWI Marshall has carried out a number of major airfield enhancement projects, including Runway Safety Area (RSA) improvements mandated by the US Congress. Airports around the country must meet updated federal RSA standards by the end of 2015. RSAs are the surfaces surrounding airport runways that provide additional safety margins for arriving and departing aircraft. During the planning process for the airfield work, it was determined that the best use for Runway 4-22 would be as a taxiway rather than an infrequently-used runway.
“As a taxiway, this airfield pavement will provide more options for aircraft movements,” said Paul J Wiedefeld, Chief Executive Officer of BWI Marshall. “The runway served us well for decades, but as a taxiway, it will help ensure a more efficient operation overall.”
BWI Marshall’s 6,000ft-long (1,829m) Runway 4-22 was rarely used. The last operation on the runway was a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago Midway that arrived at 4:18 a.m. on Tuesday, August 5.
The approximately $350 million overall airfield programme includes: runway pavement reconstruction, grading, airfield lighting improvements, taxiway upgrades, enhancements to navigational aids, and other associated projects.
Funding for the programme includes approximately $220 million in Passenger Facility Charge (PRC) revenues, an anticipated $93 million in federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding, and about $36 million from the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund. So far this year, US Senator Barbara Mikulski, US Senator Ben Cardin, and Congressman John Sarbanes have announced over $26 million in federal AIP funds for the airfield work at BWI Marshall.