Freeway Airport: County Planning Board Hearing on Rouse Phase II
news from AOPA ASN volunteer Martha Ainsworth

Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 11:15:32 -0400

1. The County Clerk's office says that the hearing is set for 10 am on TUESDAY, JULY 23RD. I'VE BEEN ASSURED THAT THE HEARING WILL LIKELY BE OVER BY LUNCHTIME.

2. There was a story in today's Prince George's Journal about yesterday's COW meeting (in archive - query on airport 07.03.2002)

3. Attached is an electronic copy of the final bill, CB-51-2002

Synopsis of last meeting and bill by Martha

Washington Post article on College Park Airport - Jan. 4 2002

Washington Post article on Prince Georges County airport closings - Jan. 2 2002

Freeway Airport: County Planning Board Hearing on Rouse Phase II, Jan. 17th -
news from AOPA ASN volunteer Martha Ainsworth

The County Planning Board will be voting on the Rouse-Fairwood Phase II
Comprehensive Sketch Plan on Thursday, January 17th. This is the same
Sketch Plan discussed by the Bowie City Council at the end of last year and
it amounts to the broad allocation of the southern half of the Rouse turf
farm development to different uses. Included in that broad allocation is
'low-density housing' of one lot per half acre right off the end of runway
36, beginning 1200 feet from the end of the runway. This is approximately
at the treeline on the top of the hill on the north side of Route 50. The
Rouse Phase II Comprehensive Sketch Plan does NOT conform to the
recommendations of the Proposed Manual of Regulations for Land Use Around
General Aviation Airports in Prince George's County, which the County
Council has yet to discuss and approve. The Manual recommends no homes in
APAs 1 or 2, and 5-acre lots in APAs 3 and 4.

Our bottom line: The Rouse Plan should conform to the recommendations of
the Manual -- irrespective of whether yet enacted by the County Council --
in the interests of public safety. We recommend withholding approval until
Rouse agrees to to this. We also don't want any reforestation in APA1, on
the north side of route 50 adjacent to the highway, as it constitutes
additional hazards to aircraft and their occupants.

The meeting will start at 9 am, at the County Administrative Building in
Upper Marlboro (14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive), although it likely will
not be the first thing on the agenda. Interested parties can sign up to
speak at the meeting. You can also write to Elizabeth M. Hewlett, Chairman,
Prince George's County Planning Board, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772, with your views.

If you can't make the meeting, it would be helpful if you could write to Ms.
Hewlett expressing your views and copied to Audrey Scott and Ronald Russell,
on the County Council. Freeway Airport was closed for 3 months and it's
important that the County people understand that the airport is back in
business and axious to get the Manual back on the agenda.

No news on College Park, Potomac, or Hyde yet, but you can monitor progress
on the Potomac Airfield website ---

See you in the skies!


October 11 - Latest news on Freeway airport & vicinity land use plus other MD aviation news from AOPA ASN volunteer Martha Ainsworth - see articles down the page for background

  1. Fairwood Phase II Planning Board review is delayed
    The County Planning Board will not take up the Phase II Preliminary Sketch Plan for the Fairwood Turf Farm development until November at the earliest. The tornado destroyed the home of person responsible for getting it to the Board, hence the delay by a month. This reduces the likelihood that Rouse will be able to get Phase II approved before the Manual of Compatible Land use around General Aviation Airports is considered by the County Council. You are still encouraged to write letters to Elizabeth Hewlett, Chairman of the County Planning Board, to voice your concerns about Rouse II. You will become a party of record and your letter will be distributed to the Planning Board members. I'm attaching the letter I sent last weekend, if you need inspiration.

  2. County Council to be briefed on proposed Land Use Regs this month!
    The County Council tentatively has scheduled to be briefed on the Manual of Compatible Land Use around Prince George's County General Aviation Airports in a full committee meeting on Tuesday morning, October 23, at the County Administration Building, second floor. The planning office will likely brief the council members and invite questions. Normally the audience does not participate, but having people there (and letters) would indicate to the council members that this is an important issue. They can choose to make it into legislation and go on for public hearings or table, it following the meeting. However, before you make plans, wait until this date and time is confirmed one week ahead of time (October 17th). I'm attaching a list of the County Council members, their jurisdictions, and phone and addresses. I'm also attaching an excellent letter written by Caroline Gabel, AOPA Airport Support Network rep for Hyde Field, to Chmn Russell of the County Council asking that the manual be made into law as soon as possible.

  3. Temporary flight restrictions remain at Freeway
    The TFR was reduced from 25 to 18 NM, but that still leaves Freeway inside. Over the period Saturday-Tuesday about 37 planes relocated from Freeway to other nearby airports outside of the 18 NM 'no fly zone' in what was termed "the flush". (Hmmmm... that terminology gives you some idea what the NSC thinks of small airplanes.) Except for transients, those who relocated did so temporarily and remain dedicated to reopening W00. Four flight school planes were re-located to Lee Airport so that people close to completing their ratings can finish. However, Lee is located between the 18NM and 25NM limit, so all flights by private pilots must be IFR. Training is permitted. Others located their planes outside 'enhanced Class B' airspace at FDK, ESN and St. Mary's, where they can fly VFR. Keep posted on the most recent developments on the AOPA web page (

  4. Maryland congressional delegation sends letter to Bush
    The whole Maryland Congressional Delegation signed a letter issued from Sen. Paul Sarbanes' office dated October 4th requesting, first, disaster assistance for the effects of the tornado, and second, for assistance for general aviation. Thanks to everyone who called and wrote!

    The text of the letter on GA:

    "We also request that you assist the General Aviation (GA) Airports and related small businesses in Maryland that have been heavily and disproportionately impacted by the 25 mile "no fly" zone around Reagan Washington National Airport and other airspace restrictions. Twelve GA airports in Maryland -- College Park, Davis, Freeway, Lee, Lanseair, Lower Marlboro, Maryland, Montgomery County, Potomac Airfield, Suburban Airpark, Tipton and Washington Executive -- have been effectively closed since the September 11th attacks, more than 100 employees have been laid off and many related businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy. We believe you have the administrative authority to provide relief for these small businesses by directiong FEMA and SBA to extend the disaster assistance declaration for Arlington County, Virginia, to all counties within the 25 mile "no fly" zone. This would enable these GA airports and related businesses to access the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loans and other programs to help meet existing obligations, maintain jobs and provide some stability for the economy. Moreover, we urge you to direct the National Security Council, FAA, and other appropriate agencies to work with the general aviation community to explore ways that general aviation operations in the nation's airspace can be expeditiously restored while addressing security and air traffic control concerns."

  5. Rally at College Park Airport this Sunday at noon
    A rally for GA is being organized at College Park this weekend. The details are on the website below. As I understand it, this is a spontaneous rally initiatied by the folks at Montgomery Airpark to restore VFR to Class B airspace. I'm trying to get more information on the speakers.

Volunteer of the Week - Martha Ainsworth

(from AOPA online news week of June 15 - anyone following the Freeway aiport/land use hearings knows Martha has done a great job on this and certainly deserves the recognition)

ASN volunteer Martha Ainsworth has been keeping AOPA apprised about a large development corporation's plans to build homes off the north end of the runway at Freeway Airport (W00) in Mitchellville, Maryland. She has worked to educate the county planning staff on the needs of general aviation airports. In addition, Ainsworth has done an outstanding job at rallying users to support a countywide plan to zone the land around the county's four airports for compatible land uses.

To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online

Land Use - Freeway Airport - Public Hearing June 4

Following on the decision by the Planning Board to send the MNCPPC Manual on compatible zoning around general aviation airports to the County Council last Thursday, the City of Bowie will be holding a public hearing on Monday, June 4, in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 2614 Kenhill Drive, Bowie, beginning at 8 pm. Details   History: See previous announcements on this page.

WABE Memorial Day WebCast features World War II Music and Veterans

Bob Clark's "Looking Back" hour on Atlanta's PBS station WABE 90.1 FM at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 27 will feature the music of World War II, including songs by Carolyn Hannan, a favorite entertainer at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum's World War II Weekend Airshow, coming up June 8-10. Interviews with veterans will highlight the meaning of the music and bring back the memories of the turbulant years which defined the world we live in today.

Land Use Around Maryland GA Airports - important meeting!

You are invited to write supporting the Draft Regulations for Land Use Around GA Airports and attend the Planning Board Meeting on Thursday, May 24th, and speak if you can. The address for Hon. Elizabeth Hewlett, Chairman of the Prince George's County Planning Board is: County Administration Building, 14741 Gov. Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.    Details    History: See previous announcements on this page.

MD Aviation Administration General Aviation Bulletin May 10, 2001- 

from the Office of Regional Aviation Assistance (410) 859-7064 - see also MDGA Airport News

Baltimore Airpark (1W2) - CLOSED to all traffic

Garrett County (2G4) - New CTAF = 123.00 eff. 5/17/01 - contact airport manager - (301) 387-4100 for details

New AWOS frequency/phone...
Bay Bridge W29 120.575 (410) 643-8795
Cambridge CGE 120.675 (410) 228-7559
St. Mary's 2W6 119.575 (301) 373-6514
College Park CGS 120.675 (301) 864-5497
Garrett County 2G4 120.125 (301) 746-8443
Ridgely 1N0 120.225 (410) 634-1072
Tipton FME 123.925 TBA

Airport Zoning Meeting - Freeway Airport and Rouse Development Plans

1. Meeting this Thursday, April 5 of the Advisory Committee, MNCPPC

The Planning Commission staff will be meeting with the Advisory Committee to review their final proposal for zoning around GA airports this Thursday, April 5th, 5:30 onward, on the 4th floor of the County Administration Building, 14741 Gov. Oden Bowie Drive. The specific agenda has not been made available as of today, nor is the proposal likely to be available in advance of the meeting. Like the meeting of March 7, we can attend as observers. At the last meeting some of the observers were asked direct questions, but this is unlikely to be the case on Thursday. Apparently the press has been advised of the meeting and is likely to show up. Anyone who wants to come should; there is no pressure to keep this meeting small, and it might be advantageous if the press shows up to have some reasonable representation of pilots.

We don't yet know what the Planning Commission will propose, but based on discussions with Craig Rovelstad and Wendy Irminger, I suspect that APZ2 (which begins at 1200 feet beyond the end of the runway) will be kept structure-free and that the real debate surrounds what density of housing or other
activity to allow in APZs 3 and 4. I found out that the existing Rouse plans call for 'low density' in APZ2 (which is 1/2 acre lots) and 'medium density' in zones 3 & 4 (1/4 acre lots). Not much space between homes! The homes on Featherstone Drive are half-acre lots. I'm hoping for 5 acre or 10 acre lots in APZ3. Haven't got a clue about APZ4. We'll report back after the meeting for those who can't attend.

2. Discussions with reps from the Rouse Corporation

A few weeks ago, Stanley Rodenhauser met with representatives of Rouse in Columbia, MD (their headquarters), at their invitation. Last Friday I met with Ed Gibbs, the attorney for Rouse, based in New Carrollton, who wanted to discuss the pilot recommendations on the APZs & the map showing six accidents
since 1965 in APZs 2, 3, and 6 on the turf farm.

The proposal on the table from the Planning Commission is to allow Rouse to swap densities within the development to reduce the density off the end of the runway. Rouse says that there are two options: build more homes on the western edge of the development (this is in an environmentally sensitive area next
to a beautiful creek, which Rouse doesn't want to disturb) or a 50-acre piece of land adjacent to route 50 on the east, reserved for a future interchange of the inter-county connector. There are no homes in the plan yet for the latter area and the County (not the Planning Commission) would have to decide whether to free it up. That would have to be linked to a bigger decision in the region to drop the intercounty connector.

It's pretty clear that Rouse will ask the county for compensation if they cannot build the number of homes that were planned. Gibbs said that when the county understands how much they'll have to compensate Rouse, they'll compare it to the cost of purchasing the airport and opt for the latter. My sense is that back when Rouse was planning the development, they viewed Freeway as a low-key mom and pop operation that would be easy to buy up. However, I explained to him that it's a booming business, that the economy has improved and demand for pilots is up while at the same time pilots from the baby-boom and Vietnam eras are nearing retirement. Freeway has had an explosion in demand for training, and with the development the demand will be even greater. The hourly price of instruction has doubled since my training 10 years ago. It's a major training
center for the Washington area, not just Prince George's County, and it's not going to go away. In fact, I said that the airport should be considered a selling point by Rouse, not a liability. Bowie is the fourth largest city in
Maryland, and the other three all have airports. (The only thing wrong with Columbia, after all, is that it doesn't have an airport!) It can draw people to settle here if we do this right. I've asked AOPA's airport support network if it wouldn't be possible to advertise the homes nearest the airport for purchase by pilots, and I mentioned to Gibbs that conceivably the airport could offer inducements to pilots who buy the homes close in (like offering free tiedowns for a year, etc.)

I also conveyed to him that the pilots are not trying to stop all development, which is inevitable, but simply trying to ensure safety and compatibility.

Gibbs' main question on the APZs was whether the pilots really believed that APZ 4 should be free of homes. He thought that planes veered right more quickly than what is shown on the plan after takeoff from runway 36. I explained to him that the perspective from the Church Road bridge (his vantage point) is not very good for judging where planes turn. We parallel the power lines until 500' AGL, which is closer or farther away from route 50, depending on the wind, temperature and aircraft weight. But the fact is, an airplane can't turn around from 500'AGL and get back to the airport, so a plane in trouble will continue out parallel to the power lines and likely hit obstructions if there isn't a clearway. I pointed out that since areas away from the powerlines will be even more densely populated, the best strategy (even if homes are allowed in APZ4) is to ensure that there's a swath parallel to the power lines that's free of obstructions (including fences). I told him that to
understand this, it's better to see it from the air. So Gibbs agreed to go up with me this Friday to see for himself the departure path. I hope that the wind will be favoring 36!

There is one piece of good news. Gibbs says that sound barriers on the Turf Farm property next to route 50 won't be an issue. The noise level has to be at least 65 decibels, and the homes are set back far enough from the highway that sound barriers can't be justified. I guess that that's true now, but I do worry that in 10 years it could be noisier. So I'd prefer to see something in writing.

That's all for now. Hope to see some of you at the meeting this Thursday, if you can make it.

Martha Ainsworth - AOPA

April 7 (Sat) 2001 - College Park Airport's First Annual Poker Run at CGS/College Park Airport.

Great prizes & better than 50/50 odds you'll have fun!

9:00 -10:00 am - donuts/coffee/briefing
10:00 - 10:30 am - launch to four MD airports (to be announced), pick-up cards, last card on return to CGS. Plan on about 90 minutes of flying @ 100 kts.
11:00 a - 12:30: Burgers & brats on the Ops Bldg deck prepared by the staff of the Road Kill Grill - donations accepted (read: EXPECTED)
12:30 p -1:00 p - play your poker hand - high hand is winner with lots of great prizes, including going home with complimentary top-off and the warm fuzzy feeling of victory. Low hand is 2nd place w/ prizes - everybody else is officially declared a pathetic LOSER.......

$10.00 ante per aircraft, pilot and observer required, no rain date, airport management makes go/no-go call at briefing time, free museum admission for participants during that day, discount tickets for 94th Aero
Squadron, and more!

Call 301-864-5844 (7am-9pm) or fax 301-277-9269 to register. V/MC accepted.

Let's put the FUN back into FLYING!............

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will have two Public Information Forums on Land use surrounding general aviation airports in Prince George's County.

The forums are:

Tuesday, February 20, 2001, 5:30 - 9:00 PM at Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, where the two southern airports, Potomac and Hyde will be examined.

Wednesday, February 21, 2001 5:30-9:00 PM at the Newton White Mansion, 2708 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville, where the two northern airports, Freeway and College Park will be examined.

The complete study is online at


Interactive Exhibits, Video Discussion:
5:30 - 7:00
Orientation by Planning Staff:
7:00 - 7:10
Presentation by Aviation Consultant:
7:10 - 7:30
Public Comments/ Questions:
7:30 - 9:00

An Airport Land Use Compatibility and Air Safety Study for the M-NCPPC was published dated November 10, 2000. Among the recomendations are closing of Potomac and Freeway airports. The study's major recomendation regarding CGS is to keep the University from building incompatible buildings in the area north and west of the runway, put up a deer fence and keep the trees cut.

This is a very critical development for aviation in Maryland, but typical of the plight of airports throughout the United States. A good showing at these hearings by the aviation community is essential. Please pass this information along to all those interested in aviation.

Flight Restrictions Set for Bush Inauguration

The inauguration of President-elect Bush Saturday, January 20, will create a few complications for pilots in the Washington, D.C. area. See AOPA Online top news stories for details.

Tipton Airport Status:

MD Aviation Administration Airport News - 

from the Office of Regional Aviation Assistance (410) 859-7064 - see also MDGA Airport News

CTAF Change at FDK

Effective July 5, 2000 use 122.725

Runway Incursion and Evaluation Program (RIIEP)

The FAA has started a program to determine root causes of runway incursions. RIIEP calls for voluntary participation, and is administered by the local FSDO.

Sharing of valuable safety information may help lead to effective corrective actions. It is up to you, the user of the system to help improve it.

Contact @ FAA HQ: Mr. Ross Cusimano, 202 267-8166.

New CTAF frequencies around the State

Suburban and Tipton both hagve changed to 123.05,  but you knew that - right?

Keep the frequencies clear of unnecessary chatter... and LISTEN UP.

There will be a few more frequency changes in the coming months, so check those NOTAMS and fly safe! 

College Park (CGS) Effective March 20, 2000

EASTON AIRPORT (ESN)    Effective February 1, 2000...

Runway 22 traffic pattern will be right hand turns

Be alert of traffic and transmit intentions on 122.95

Noise abatement procedures remain in effect

For more information contact the Airport at:  (410) 770-8055


Starting January 1, 2000, the new airport name will be CECIL COUNTY AIRPORT

Extensive runway, taxiway, apron work has been accomplished at the airport. Runway 13/31 is asphalt surface and 3000' long and 60' wide. Runway is restricted to daylight operations only. Runway 31 is displaced 600' and Runway 13 is displaced 300'. Use caution operating on the airfield as many construction vehicles are operating regularly.

DAVIS AIRPORT (W5O), Laytonsville, MD

The crumbling, rut-filled, loose-gravel pavement has been repaired and resurfaced. The new runway is now 2005' long and 26' wide. The runway is restricted to daylight-use only. The runway markings will be painted in Spring during warm temperature.

FREEWAY AIRPORT (W00), Mitchellville, MD

Runway 36 has been displaced 235' and marked accordingly. Additionally, the runway lighting has been upgraded; it is now medium intensity and under pilot control.

Tipton Field Open!

Yes, Tipton is open, per Mike Wassel, the new airport manager. You may land there but don't expect much.... There are no lights, no fuel, no maintenance, but a lot of ramp space. It is a daytime/VFR field only, and it would be wise to check the NOTAMS before you land there. (Hopefully there is more information at the FSS specialist fingertips about Tipton than there was on Monday) The reported UNICOM frequency for the field is123.0. The runways are 10/28.

Formal opening and other improvements coming soon.

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