Pros and Cons of Living Near BWI

Will I ever get used to the airplanes flying overhead?

When I started planning my move from Washington, DC, to Glen Burnie back in the fall, I was excited about being close to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Though it has one drawback—one of these days I’m going to drive off the road out of fear that an airplane is going to land on my car.

Upon settling in on the first night, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a light moving outside the window. It was a plane! How cool, I thought.

While learning my way around town, I stumbled upon the Thomas A. Dixon Jr. Aircraft Observation Area where the planes seem so close that I feared one would land on my car.

I remember pulling over to take a picture on my phone and posting it to my Facebook profile with the caption, “These planes are going to give me a heart attack.” To which my friend Candy Fontz replied, “Give it another three months and you won’t even notice (or hear) them!”

So when I put out a call for non-food places in Glen Burnie to check out for this column, I jumped at Candy’s suggestion to take a trip over to Dorsey Road and spend some time watching the planes land.

I grabbed a friend and some food and spent a couple hours being amazed by the planes as they came in for a landing at BWI. It was incredible how close the planes seemed as they glided in over the field next to the park where children played and bikers and runners used the BWI Trail.

After two hours at the park people watching and seeing the planes land, I wish I could say I’ve gotten a little more used to the planes overhead. I will admit I hardly hear the planes anymore, though I did turn up the TV as one blew by while writing this column.

As far as getting used to seeing them? It might take a few more months, Candy.

Nancy Royden May 13, 2011 at 12:00 PM
I used to live very near (almost beside it) a U.S. Army heliport in Germany. I did indeed get used to it. I think having a very energetic infant/toddler at the time made me sleep through anything!
Candy Fontz May 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Having grown up in a very small town in the Poconos (they still don't have a single traffic light in town), I swore I could NEVER move to the 'city' of Glen Burnie. I couldn't understand the need for all of the buses, cabs and highways. Needless to say, the noise of the airplanes just made everything seem more "city" to me. Since moving here 26 years ago, I've learned to ignore the roar of planes as they pass over our house and I don't duck anymore when an incoming plane cruises just above my vehicle as I travel on Dorsey Road. Glad you were able to spend some time at the Obersrvation Area/Park and take in what most people in the area take for granted. We just "overlook" our neighbors at BWI because we've become so used to it and so will you. All in good time, my friend. All in good time!
Phillip May 13, 2011 at 01:51 PM
That is a great park you visited. Great for the kids. I went to that park once with my friend Frank and I had a scanner so we could listen to the pilots talking to the control tower on their flight in. I'm sure you'll eventually get use to it.
Maya T. Prabhu May 13, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Haha. I definitely still duck! :)
Gloria Dietz May 13, 2011 at 02:39 PM
I lived in Baltimore city and could sleep through buses rumbling by, sirens constantly and even people sitting on my steps at 2 am after the bars closed talking. Then I moved to the county 21 years ago and the cricket sounds kept me up... Go Figure? I finally got used to them and now it's my darn neighbors who get up at the crack up dawn to mow their lawn. Why so early, don't they know we need our beauty sleep? lol


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