Hearing set on cargo complex at BWI $58 million proposal involves four buildings

November 13, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Aviation Administration wants to build a $58 million cargo complex at Baltimore-Washington International Airport to remain competitive in the cargo industry.

The administration, which will receive state and federal planning money for the project, has scheduled a public hearing next month at Glen Burnie High School.

"There's an increased demand in cargo business out there and BWI is going to be maxed out in another couple of years so we would like to capture some of that market and expand while we can," Barbara Grey, an environmental manager with the aviation administration, said yesterday.

The air freight industry is a $64 billion a year business worldwide. And while its explosive growth of the 1980s has slowed, it is expected to continue to grow by six to seven percent a year, said Brian Clancy, a principal with Merged- Global, an air freight consultant in Arlington, Va.

More airports are looking to get a piece of that business as they realize "cargo is a significant source of revenue," he said.

BWI now has about 300,000 square feet of space to store cargo, with only 5,000 square feet available for new tenants.

The airport's 20-year plans calls for four new, 60,000-square foot cargo buildings to be located in the midfield complex by 2015.

The airport wants to build two buildings now, and the others as the need and market dictates, Grey said.

Construction would begin in 1997 and be completed by late 1998 or early 1999.

Displays and maps depicting the project, as well as the alternatives considered and the draft environmental analysis, will be available for review at the hearing, which is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 17 at the high school, 7550 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.

Airport officials will answer residents' questions and to take note of their opinions.

Copies of the environmental analysis will be available for review starting Saturday at public libraries in Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties. A copy also will be available at the airport's office of planning and engineering.

Written comments about the project will be accepted until 5 p.m. Jan. 7.

Residents' comments will be included in a final environmental analysis statement, which will be given to the Federal Aviation Administration for their final review and approval, Grey said.

The FAA and environmental agencies are reviewing the analysis, which focuses on the impact the project would have on trees, wetlands and noise.

Pub Date: 11/13/96

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