Despite protests from angry residents and civic association leaders, the owner of a small airfield in Clinton is continuing to seek approval to expand its runways and build a major new industrial park on the site -- a plan that would dramatically increase air and ground traffic.

Washington Executive Airpark Associates, owner and operator of Hyde Field, filed an application with the Prince George's County Council to rezone the airfield to accommodate excess turboprop airplane traffic from National Airport. The rezoning application also outlines a plan to build a 3.8 million-square-foot industrial park on the 458 acres surrounding the field, near Steed and Piscataway roads. The project could create 6,000 to 9,000 jobs.

Citizens voiced their concerns about the plan at a recent community meeting and at a County Planning Board meeting last week.

"This is one massive proposal," said Joseph Johnson, 47, president of the Clinton Citizens Association, who opposes the expansion. "This one change could change all of south county as we know it."

Thomas Payne, 41, a Clinton resident who works for the U.S. Department of Education, also opposes the plan. "I don't want an increase in the amount of air traffic in the county," he said, adding that when he moved to the Clinton area in 1984, he was not even aware of the airport's presence.

In a report to the County Planning Board, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has recommended denying the application, saying that considerably more planning is needed before a project of such scale could be approved. The report, prepared by the commission's technical staff, also questioned the adequacy of existing transportation facilities to accommodate the additional traffic the project would generate and noted that it would require "millions of dollars worth of unfunded road improvements."

County Council member Sue V. Mills (D), who said the council seldom goes against the technical staff's recommendations, said she is concerned about the project because the increased traffic would affect neighborhoods in her district. Council member F. Kirwan Wineland (D), who represents the district in which the field is located, declined to give an opinion on the plan.

The County Planning Board will review the staff's report and forward its recommendation to the County Council, which may approve, modify or deny the application. A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for Oct. 12.

According to documents released by Washington Executive Airpark Associates, the Federal Aviation Administration has designated Hyde Field as National Airport's reliever airport, providing general aviation pilots with an alternative landing area when National is congested.

The FAA's regional office completed an evaluation of reliever airports in October 1988 and concluded that Hyde Field is one of the few general aviation airports in Maryland with expansion potential.

Hyde Field, three miles from Andrews Air Force Base, is affected by the kind of problems that have closed more than 150 airports nationwide, according to the FAA.

Small airports have been hurt by soaring real estate prices that make selling off airfields more profitable than running airports. Also, liability insurance has become scarcer and more expensive.

"A little bit of expansion's a good idea," said Stan Fetter, 36, who owns several small planes leased to an operator at the airfield. But Fetter said he is concerned that larger aircraft may eventually use the field. "I don't think they should start bringing jets in," he said.

Neighbors of the airfield are concerned not only with the noise level of the jets, but also with the additional number of people that would enter the community as a result of the expansion.

Sally Roy, president of the Piscataway Citizens Association, said that organization opposes the rezoning.

"We're concerned about the traffic," she said. Piscataway Road, one of Clinton's main arteries, would have to be widened from two lanes to a six-lane divided highway, according to the proposal.

Increased traffic that would result from the Executive Airpark Associates plan would also call for a widening of parts of Steed Road, Temple Hill Road, Old Branch Avenue, Brandywine Road and Allentown Road.

Gwen Thompson, 37, who lives three miles from the airfield, is worried about an increase in air traffic. "I don't like the idea of the trainees that are flying over my house as it is. Every time they fly across my house it makes me nervous."

But one Clinton resident said he does not oppose the plan.

"What's the difference between Andrews and this little {airfield} over here?" he said.