Maryland Manual On-Line -




[photo, Terminal Building entrance, BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland] The State of Maryland owns and operates two airports: Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Martin State Airport. Both are run by the Maryland Aviation Administration, an agency of the Department of Transportation.

Terminal Building entrance, BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland, September 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Although possibly the first recorded manned flight occurred over Baltimore in a balloon in 1784, Maryland did not pass its Uniform State Law for Aeronautics until 1927 (Chapter 637, Acts of 1927), followed by the creation of the State Aviation Commission in 1929 (Chapter 318, Acts of 1929). The Commission licensed aviators and airships, set air traffic rules, regulated the construction and operation of airfields, and otherwise conformed to federal regulations. The Commission became an administration in 1970 when the Department of Transportation was formed and in 1972 took over operation of Friendship International Airport (now BWI Thurgood Marshall) after its purchase by the State. At that time, the Administration went from three employees to over two hundred. It was renamed the Maryland Aviation Administration in 1989.


BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport offers both passenger and cargo flights to domestic and international destinations. It is one of the fastest growing large airports in the United States. Nonstop flight service is available to 63 domestic and 13 international destinations. Just south of Baltimore City, the Airport lies in northern Anne Arundel County.

In 2014, some 22.3 million passengers flew through BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, with an average of 61,131 per day. That total is down from 22.5 million in 2013.

In 2013, the Airport handled 240.3 million pounds of air cargo (mail and freight), and was served by 36 airlines (including commuter, charter and cargo airlines) with 688 commercial flights daily.

In 2009, the Airports Council International ranked BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport first for airport service quality among airports around the world that served 15 to 25 million passengers annually.

Providing a 24-hour U.S. Customs operation, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is designated an official port of entry by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1997, the Airport also was designated as a European gateway for the U.S. Air Force's Air Mobility Command. In addition, the Airport has a foreign trade zone in the Air Cargo Center. With scheduled refrigerated trucking to major destinations in the Baltimore-Washington region, the Airport offers on site a 24-hour cold storage facility.

To expand and enhance service and beautify Airport facilities, a multi-million dollar construction program began in 1994 and continues. Some 3,400 public parking spaces were added to satellite lots, and a new daily parking garage opened in 2002. Since completion in 2003, the garage offers 8,400 parking spaces with a "Smart Park" vehicle guidance system to help travelers find an open parking space. A 10,500-foot runway now better accommodates long-haul traffic.

Opened in 1997, an international pier, called the Governor William Donald Schaefer International Terminal, includes the Maryland Central Light Rail Line on its lower level (Chapter 702, Acts of 1994; Code Transportation Article, sec. 5-413). Amtrak and MARC passengers may park in a five-level parking garage. In 1999, construction began on additional gates and other improvements estimated to be worth $72.5 million.


One of the largest general aviation facilities on the East Coast, Martin State Airport is located in southeastern Baltimore County. The Airport handles primarily private and corporate aircraft. Yet, it is the main base for Maryland's two Air National Guard squadrons; the Aviation Division (MED-EVAC) of the Department of State Police; the Helicopter Unit of the Baltimore City Police; and the Marine Division of Baltimore County. Martin State also has flight schools, hosts the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum, and provides aircraft repair and avionics facilities on site.

Martin State Airport began in 1929 as an airplane production facility built by Glenn L. Martin, an aviation designer and constructor. Before and during World War II, the Glen L. Martin Aircraft Company produced the B-10 and B-26 bombers, the China Clipper, and the Martin Mars planes at the facility. Runways also were added during the war period. In 1961, the Martin Company merged with the American Marietta Corporation to form the Martin Marietta Corporation. The State of Maryland purchased 747 acres of the Airport in 1975 from the Martin Marietta Corporation.


  • Cambridge - Dorchester Regional Airport, Dorchester County
  • Carroll County Regional Airport [Jack B. Poage Field], Carroll County
  • Greater Cumberland Regional Airport, Mineral County, WV (operated by Potomac Highlands Airport Authority)
  • Hagerstown Regional Airport [Richard A. Henson Field], Washington County
  • Montgomery County Airpark, Montgomery County
  • St. Mary's County Regional Airport, St. Mary's County
  • Salisbury - Ocean City - Wicomico Regional Airport, Wicomico County


    Airports included in this section are those that are either maintained or operated by county government.

  • Bay Bridge Airport, Queen Anne's County
  • Cambridge - Dorchester Regional Airport, Dorchester County
  • Carroll County Regional Airport [Jack B. Poage Field], Carroll County
  • Cecil County Airport, Cecil County
  • Crisfield/Somerset County Airport, Somerset County
  • Easton Airport [Newnam Field], Talbot County
  • Garrett County Airport, Garrett County
  • Hagerstown Regional Airport [Richard A. Henson Field], Washington County
  • St. Mary's County Regional Airport, St. Mary's County
  • Tipton Airport, Anne Arundel County


    Airports included in this section are those that are either maintained or operated by municipal government.

  • Crisfield/Somerset County Airport, Somerset County
  • Frederick Municipal Airport, Frederick County
  • Ocean City Municipal Airport, Worcester County

    Maryland Constitutional Offices & Agencies
    Maryland Departments
    Maryland Independent Agencies
    Maryland Executive Commissions, Committees, Task Forces, & Advisory Boards
    Maryland Universities & Colleges
    Maryland Counties
    Maryland Municipalities
    Maryland at a Glance

    Maryland Manual On-Line

    Search the Manual

     Maryland Manual On-Line, 2015

    July 1, 2015

     Note: In this past edition of Maryland Manual, some links are to external sites.

    View the current Manual

    This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.

    Tell Us What You Think About the Maryland State Archives Website!

    [ Archives' Home Page  ||  All About Maryland  ||  Maryland Manual On-Line  ||  Reference & Research
    ||  Search the Archives   ||  Education & Outreach  ||  Archives of Maryland Online ]

    Governor     General Assembly    Judiciary     Maryland.Gov

    Copyright June 15, 2015 Maryland State Archives