Is air traffic at Bowie’s Freeway Airport going to be grounded?

There’s some turbulence at Bowie’s Freeway Airport in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and the owners are showing signs they’re seeking to ground things permanently.

“They’re looking to liquidate their assets or to improve the facility to be more viable financially — they’re at a crossroads,” Bowie City Councilman Dufour Woolfley said. “They’re actively pursuing development of that property, and to make it more profitable they would like higher density development there.”

The property is currently zoned to allow one home for every two acres of land. But a change could allow as many as 600 new residential units built on the 129 acres of land along the southwest corner of Church Road and Route 50.

The airport sits right outside the city of Bowie’s official limits, but still asked the city for a recommendation for the project ahead of the hearing with the county.

However, city leaders voted not to recommend the project.

“Unfortunately, that area is short on road surface [and] we’ve had a tragedy in that area recently,” said Woolfley, referring to the death of 14-year-old Kamal Nashid last weekend, which was less than a mile north of the airport, and reignited concerns about speed and traffic along Church Road.

“People are concerned about traffic, people are concerned about safety; they’re concerned about schools,” Woolfley said. “So there is a lot of pushback.”

He said a project smaller in scope would be a better fit for the property.

However, the city’s recommendation against the property is only that — a recommendation.

County leaders have the final say and can allow the rezoning to move forward without the city’s approval. A county council committee approved Thursday a recommendation for the airport zoning change, 3-2, so now it goes to full council.

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