Governor Larry Hogan announced that Ricky D. Smith, Sr., a 27-year government transportation official, has been appointed chief executive officer of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall). In this capacity, he will also serve as the executive director of the Maryland Aviation Administration, overseeing BWI Marshall, Martin State Airport and public-use airports across the state. Smith returns to BWI Marshall after serving as director of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport since 2006. Smith will replace Paul Wiedefeld, who has served two times as BWI Marshall’s CEO for a total of nine years.
“Ricky has the experience, leadership skills and know-how to take BWI Marshall to the next level,” said Governor Hogan. “BWI Marshall is a major job generator and economic engine for Maryland, and I’m confident that Ricky will continue to grow domestic and international travel at our world-class airport. I want to thank Paul for his many years of leadership and service to the citizens of Maryland.”
Prior to leaving for Cleveland, Smith was head of operations at BWI serving as the chief operating officer. He has nearly two decades of experience at MDOT’s State Highway Administration and the Maryland Aviation Administration.
BWI Marshall is ranked 22nd for the number of passengers in the United States with more than 22 million passengers traveling through the airport every year. International passenger traffic has grown steadily in recent years at BWI Marshall. For the first four months of 2015, international passengers increased 22.5 percent over the same period last year. This year alone, four new international airlines have announced service or started flying out of BWI Marshall including: Norwegian Air Shuttle to Martinique and Guadeloupe; WOW air to Iceland with easy connections throughout Europe; Sunwing Airlines to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Swift Air with charter service to Havana, Cuba.
To help accommodate continued international growth and enhanced service for passengers, construction work on the D/E Connector program is now underway at BWI Marshall. This multi-phase project will: create a new security checkpoint to serve domestic and international travelers, construct a new secure connector between Concourse D and Concourse E, and configure airline gates to support additional international flights. BWI Marshall also just issued a request for proposals to establish a convenient, full-service hotel that will offer direct access to the airport terminal.