Following September 11 many airlines and airports began taking
the heat from a drop in travel, but Marquette County's Sawyer International
Airport posted its best year in 2001 with a 25 percent increase
Marquette's airport, which was moved from Negaunee Township to
the closed Sawyer Air Force Base in 1999, was one of only four Michigan
airports that did not experience flight reductions after September
While the former Air Force airfield has been transformed successfully
into the regional airport and other base redevelopment efforts have
taken place, the county is faced with disposing of two white elephant
buildings on the base.
The base's command center and hospital have been vacant since the
Air Force left in 1995 and have become very expensive for the county
to maintain. In a creative marketing effort, Marquette County will
offer the buildings rent-free to any businesses that would create
400 jobs and retain them for five years. At the end of those five
years, the county would hand over the deed at no charge.