Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Columbia and BWI

Today, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport turns sixty. On Monday, Columbia turned forty three. It is somewhat appropriate that these developments celebrate their birthdays in the same week since each one has contributed to the others growth and prosperity.

From its very beginnings Columbia’s developers touted it’s proximity to the airport to entice businesses to locate in HoCo. For the airport, the residential and commercial growth in Columbia contributed to the rapid passenger growth at the airport. According to this story by Michael Dresser in The Sun, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is “one of only two large U.S. airports to grow in 2009.”

“Today, the airport is the nation's 23rd busiest, serving about 21 million passengers a year, and a mainstay of the regional economy. An important base for low-cost carriers, BWI is estimated to support about 22,000 jobs as it handles more than a quarter-million takeoffs and landings a year.”

The airport has gone through a series of makeovers over its sixty years and today’s passenger terminal bears little resemblance to the passenger terminal that President Harry Truman dedicated back in 1950. Similarly, Columbia is about to embark on its own makeover with the recently adopted Town Center redevelopment legislation.

At a Columbia birthday celebration held last night at the lakefront in Town Center, the redevelopment plans were welcomed by the speakers and about 100 attendees. Curiously, though several politicians and political candidates mingled with the crowd not one single member of the Columbia Council attended the event.

Perhaps they are afraid to show their faces in light of the $3 million computer software fiasco.

More on that story later today.
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