Nine things I know about flying in Maryland

Maryland has mountains, a large bay, and an ocean – as well as airports to enjoy each of these regions.

Maryland is one of the most unique states in the country in that it has a unique mix of mountains, the Chesapeake Bay – which is the largest estuary in the United States – and beautiful beaches on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. By itself this would be notable, but we also have airports that serve these regions so they are more easily enjoyed. Check out KOXB, W29 and 2G4 airports to enjoy this wide range of scenic options.

Maryland has the world’s oldest operating airport.

CGS
College Park is often overlooked in aviation history, but it’s the site of many historic flights.

College Park Airport (KCGS) was established in 1909 as a demonstration site for the Wright Brothers. With appropriate security credentials, you can still fly into it today. Many aviation firsts occurred here including Bernetta Adams Miller becoming the first woman to demonstrate a flight in a military aircraft.

Adjacent to a beautiful park and the home of an aviation museum, the airport is just a brief walk from the District of Columbia subway and a short ride to downtown DC. The airport also borders the University of Maryland campus at College Park.

Maryland was home to three aircraft manufacturing facilities.

The famous Ercoupe was made here in the 1940s in nearby Riverdale (next to College Park) and a number of Fairchild designs including the A-10 Warthog were made in Hagerstown, Maryland. The famous B-26 WWII bomber and seaplanes from Martin were built northeast of center city Baltimore at what is now Martin State Airport.

Maryland is the home to some of the most restricted US airspace.

While the state is great to visit by air, much of the airspace immediately around Washington, DC, in the post-9/11 era is specially controlled. It is divided into two zones: a less restrictive Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) and a practically locked down Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ). Come visit us after a careful briefing to avoid an up close and personal visit from an F-16. FAASafety.gov has an online course you must take to fly in the area.

Maryland hosts numerous museums and attractions.

B&O Museum
The B&O Railroad Museum is definitely worth a visit.

The state has a world class aquarium, an amazing art gallery (Walters), a rail museum (Baltimore & Ohio), Fort McHenry (the scene of the battle that led to the writing of our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner) – and those are just in the city of Baltimore! There is a great display of the history of Martin Aircraft in a hangar at KMTN. Many more choices exist across the state, including a number which are just a short airport car (or Uber) ride away from an airport.

Maryland is home to Air Force One.

The presidential fleet of 747s and the other airplanes used to fly government officials all over the world is based at Joint Base Andrews, located in Camp Springs, Maryland, a short helicopter ride on Marine One from the White House.

Maryland (still) has a VOR/DME arc approach at KMTN.

In the era of GPS approaches, you can still go “old school” with a VOR and DME approach.

Maryland has thriving airport restaurants.

We have several thriving airport restaurants that serve our state. Check out the sugar buns made fresh daily (at KESN), the crab cakes (at KCGE), the cheeseburgers (at KFDK) and the grilled tuna salad (at KHGR). I can recommend each personally!

Maryland is home to amazing fall foliage flights.

We have four seasons, and the fall colors can be remarkable. The color is spectacular – particularly in the western, mountainous part of the state. Absolutely a must see.

 

To read other entries in this series, including California, New York, and Ohio, click here. Want to share tips about your part of the world? Email us and find out of your state is spoken for already: editor@airfactsjournal.com.

6 Comments

  • The crab cakes @ 3W3 are mad the crab cakes @ CGE got top billing. Best crab cakes are a Maryland 3rd rail discussion. It’s broken up marriages! (not really, maybe)

    Both are top notch but 3W3 also has a nice grass runway!

  • Allen, Glad you put that info on the table. Indeed the marina down the street from 3W3 does serve a mean crab cake. I’ve had a few of theirs actually. For the post I stuck to airports with restaurants on site. All the best!

  • You’re smart to need to limit to “on airport” as we all know it’s hard to go too wrong in MD. The Grille at Hagerstown airport also has good crab cakes and its neat to land on the runway all those A-10’s and Helio Couriers flew off of.

  • The often overlooked Essex Skypark(W48) is worth mentioning. Located 4 miles south of Martin State airport there are many good eating spots, marinas nearby and water front public golf course about 1 mile away. Essex is unique in that it is one of the very few small airports with hard(paved), soft(grass) runways and water(approved float plane facility) access. Yes I am biased as a former 15 yr + tenant there, I found the airport folks there to be a welcoming group.

  • Here is another plug for the restaurant within walking distance of 3W3. If you’ve ever wondered why Marylanders make such a big deal about steamed crabs, walk down to Kentmorr Restaurant and try them for yourself. My wife and I make the pilgrimage every year since we moved away from Maryland. I can taste the Old Bay seasoning just thinking about it!

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