Sawyer International Airport

SAWYER, MI--   Sawyer International Airport’s Duane DuRay has been named Airport Manager of the Year by the Michigan Association of Airport Executives. 

He was given the award at the association’s 66th annual Fall Conference. The MAAE says DuRay continues to work on projects that improve the airport, including runway rehabilitation, several grants, addition of the Minneapolis/St. Paul flight option, and moving the airport to a higher level of security.

DuRay has served as the airport manager since 2012, following his position at Gogebic Iron County Airport.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Sawyer International Airport and emergency management and response agencies are conducting a full-scale exercise at the airport Saturday. 

Teresa Schwalbach is the Marquette County Emergency Management Coordinator. She says the exercise allows emergency response agencies to learn what to do if something happens by testing communications, mutual aid, and emergency response procedures.

The exercise will take place at two locations—physically at the airport and virtually at UPHS-Marquette. Volunteer patients will be present at Sawyer only.

SAWYER, MI--   Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey will be studying the geology of the Central U.P. over the next few months. 

People may witness a low-flying airplane above the broader Iron Mountain-Escanaba-Marquette region this spring and summer. Scientists will conduct a high-resolution survey to help them understand the geology—including buried rock types and faults—of the area.

MARQUETTE, MI--   One of the largest aircrafts in the world is landing at Sawyer International Airport this week. 

The Antonov AN-124 is tentatively scheduled to arrive Wednesday around 11:30 a.m. Its purpose is to pick up a South Korean helicopter, which has been at Sawyer for about six months. The Korean aerospace industry and South Korean Army have been working with the U.S. Army to run de-icing tests on military aircraft.

The AN-124 is used for heavy cargo and is in demand for carrying special goods. It’s expected to leave Sawyer Thursday at 12:30 a.m.

SAWYER, MI--   A morning flight to Detroit from Sawyer International Airport is returning in March. 

SkyWest Airlines, operating as Delta, will operate two daily flights to Detroit Metro. The earlier flight will depart at approximately 10:26 a.m. Sawyer will continue its current flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at 7:30 a.m. and its non-stop flight to Chicago O’Hare via American Airlines at 8:47 a.m.

SAWYER, MI--   Sawyer International Airport is getting nearly $6 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced the funding Tuesday. The money will be used for improvement projects, including runway rehabilitation.

Airport Manager Duane DuRay says the grants will allow Marquette County to complete long-overdue projects. He says at the same time it will reduce operating expenses and let Sawyer International continue to offer service to the central U.P. 

SAWYER, MI--   Marquette County is getting money from the Federal Aviation Administration for Sawyer International Airport. 

Just over $175,000 will be used to rehabilitate runways, improve structural integrity, and remove debris at the airport.

The money comes through the FAA’s Runway Incursion Mitigation Program, which helps airports identify, prioritize, and develop strategies to mitigate risk.

SAWYER, MI--   American Airlines passengers traveling through Sawyer International Airport will enjoy bigger planes and a higher-class flying experience, at least for a while. 

The airline is modifying its American Eagle CRJ-700 fleet of regional jets to add advanced Wi-Fi technology.  The work is being performed by Envoy Air at its maintenance base at Sawyer. 

While the work is being performed American will substitute larger, two-class jets on its scheduled flights.  Officials say passengers will experience a roomier aircraft and first-class amenities. 

John Pepin /

MARQUETTE, MI (AP)--   Helicopters have been flying over the Marquette area as a nearby airport serves as a winter icing test area for the U.S. Army.  

Sawyer International Airport Manager Duane DuRay says the Army has sent a team to test a Korean Aerospace Industries helicopter's ability to operate in frigid temperatures and icing conditions.

The Mining Journal reports that the Army's CH-47D Chinook helicopter leads the operation as it covers the helicopter being tested with icing spray. An additional aircraft hangs by to monitor conditions throughout the flight.

SAWYER, MI--   U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters have announced Sawyer International Airport in Marquette County is getting a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The $702,900 will be used to install runway fencing and rehabilitate the runway itself. 

“Travelers to and from the Upper Peninsula count on Sawyer International Airport for safe and reliable transportation,” Peters says.  “This funding will make important improvements to the airport’s overall safety and operations and will encourage economic growth in the region.”