The Prince George's County Council is thinking of using all the economic leverage at its command to encourage greater use of Baltimore-Washington International Airport at the expense of Washington National Airport.
A resolution introduced before the council yesterday would require county employes to use Baltimore-Washington instead of National on business trips unless no appropriate flight is available at the Maryland airport.
The resolution, which is expected to pass in the next two weeks, also urges the county school board, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to discourage use of National by their employes.
The resolution was drafted by Council member Francis B. Francois and says decreased use of National and greater use of Baltimore-Washington would "reduce air pollution in our region, encourage the economic development of Maryland and Prince George's County and assure that the (Baltimore-Washington) facility will not become a burden on taxpayers of the state."
The southern part of the county is beneath one of National's takeoff and landing patterns. The Federal Aviation Administration has expressed interest in permitting use of large, wide-body jets at National that would increase passenger traffic there, and Francois said that was one reason for his proposal.
"I have no desire to phase out National Airport, but I certainly don't want it expanded," he said. "I think it should be a regional airport and more long distance flights should originate at BWI."
"Congress has little will-power to make change in the airports," he added. "I have a feeling something like this will have more impact than anything else we can try."