Hearing tonight on small-craft airport study

January 07, 1993|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff Writer

The Federal Aviation Administration thinks Howard County might be a good place for an airport for small aircraft and is wondering if local pilots, business people and residents agree.

To find out, the FAA has commissioned a 10-part Airport Master Plan Study that begins tonight with a two-hour public hearing in the county office building.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be part information -- a presentation from county officials about the scope and objectives of the study -- and part forum: hearing from people affected by the study.

"There are no Howard County sites in mind whatsoever," said Gerald von Mayer, the county planner assigned as a liaison to the project. "This is just a general information meeting -- part of the study."

Nearby Baltimore-Washington International Airport is showing signs of congestion, and the FAA is looking for a so-called reliever airport, Mr. von Mayer said. "Howard County has been designated as a possibility for small aircraft."

Other possibilities, Mr. von Mayer said, are Anne Arundel, Carroll, Frederick and Montgomery counties.

Aircraft owners and county businesses are being surveyed to determine their potential use of a local airport.

Currently, the only county air strip available to pilots is Haysfield Airport, a 2,200-foot grass strip north of Clarksville off Sheppard Lane. The airport houses 50 planes and is mostly for recreational use.

The FAA wants the airport study to predict the demand and forecast the requirements of a secondary airport.

The study is to include 5-, 10-, and 20-year projections of the type and number of aircraft expected should the airport be built here.

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