High flying, yet grounded

Michigan State Roundup

Published November 1, 2007  | November 2007 issue

Sawyer International Airport has had an interesting year. Would you like the good news or bad news first?

The good news is that Sawyer had its busiest summer on record this year, shuttling more than 40,000 passengers during the three-month period, an increase of 5 percent over the same period last year and a 68 percent increase over the summer of 1999, according to airport figures.

In September, the airport also received a $2.5 million grant from a federal military program, most of which will go to expand and improve parking for the passenger terminal and to rehabilitate a plane hangar.

None of this was good enough to retain Midwest Connect, which stopped flying to Sawyer at the end of September, citing low traffic as the cause, despite the fact that the company's summer traffic grew about 7 percent this year.

Ronald A. Wirtz