Major construction is underway on important enhancements at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on the D/E Connector, which will create new passenger amenities while supporting growing international air service, the greatest potential growth area at the airport.
In addition to supporting significant safety and customer service enhancements, the project will also provide BWI Marshall with two additional gates that will provide access to the international arrivals area for passengers to clear customs and border protection screening upon entering the United States.
Specific components for the D/E Connector program include a new security checkpoint for domestic and international passengers, improvements to passenger circulation and egress to meet updated building codes, the construction of an airside connector to allow passengers to move between concourses and the expansion of two gates along the connector space.
From a customer service perspective, the terminal enhancement will create a new security checkpoint for domestic and international passengers using concourses D and E. The current D checkpoint does not meet customer service standards and the D/E Connector work will create a better circulation space in the ticketing lobby and open the view to the new, large security checkpoint.
The program will provide positive passenger service elements similar to other recent terminal improvements at BWI Marshall. For example, the new terminal enhancements will allow the airfield to be visible through the security checkpoint from the curbside and the ticketing lobby, providing passengers with an intuitive path through ticketing and the security process, as well as creating a more inviting and open process.
The D/E Connector design reflects recent construction at BWI Marshall with the B/C Connector program and with the creation of Terminal A/B for Southwest Airlines, including the A/B food court and concessions core. As part of the D/E Connector program, new concession space will be created. The high ceiling will continue through the checkpoint into the concessions core, with airside views and a seating courtyard.
For the D/E program, the concessions node will be centrally located, directly opposite the new security checkpoint. The concessions core will be anchored by floor-to-ceiling views of the airfield, again, similar to the airport’s A/B facility. The design for the new concessions node includes space for concepts like a coffee shop, a duty free shop, a bar and other retail offerings. The project is also to encompass an outdoor patio space, which would include food and beverage options.
D/E Connector construction has required the temporary closure of the corridor between the international and domestic terminals, near Concourse D. The 285-foot-long passageway will be closed on the upper (departures) level of BWI Marshall, as well as the lower (arrivals) level.
During construction, all pedestrian traffic will be detoured to the covered outdoor sidewalk for access between the domestic and international terminals. The preliminary schedule calls for the corridor to be closed until November.