MBS International Airport

MBS International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = MBS International Airport

type = Public
owner = MBS International
operator =
city-served = Saginaw, Michigan
location =
elevation-f = 668
elevation-m = 204
coordinates = coord|43|31|58|N|084|04|47|W|region:US_type:airport
website =
r1-number = 5/23
r1-length-f = 8,002
r1-length-m = 2,439
r1-surface = Asphalt
r2-number = 14/32
r2-length-f = 6,400
r2-length-m = 1,951
r2-surface = Asphalt
stat-year = 2006
stat1-header = Aircraft operations
stat1-data = 50,254
stat2-header = Based aircraft
stat2-data = 27
footnotes = Source: Federal Aviation AdministrationFAA-airport|ID=MBS|use=PU|own=PU|site=10299.*A, effective 2007-12-20]

MBS International Airport airport codes|MBS|KMBS|MBS is located in Freeland, Michigan, serving the nearby cities of Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw. It was formerly named Tri City Airport. The airport was renamed to MBS International Airport in 1994 (representative of its IATA airport code) to prevent confusion with other airports named "Tri City Airport" across the United States.

The fourth busiest commercial airport in Michigan, it is a special municipal body owned by Bay County and the cities of Midland and Saginaw. The airports's name is an initialism formed from the names of the three owning communities. It is governed by a nine-member commission made up of three members from each of the owning communities.


MBS International Airport covers 3,200 acres (13 km²) and has two runways:
* Runway 5/23: 8,002 x 150 ft (2,439 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
* Runway 14/32: 6,400 x 150 ft (1,951 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt


During World War II, it was used to hold prisoners of war. Civilian control of the airport resumed in the mid 1940s.

On April 6, 1958, a Capital Airlines Vickers Viscount stalled and crashed on approach to MBS, resulting in 47 fatalities.

On August 16, 1987 a Northwest Airlines MD-80, Flight 255 originated at MBS. After departing MBS, the flight dropped off and picked up passengers at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport before crashing on takeoff en route to Phoenix, Arizona, killing 148 passengers and 6 crew members.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a lot of growth at MBS. During this time, airline service expanded and many airlines began serving MBS.
*During the 1980s, Air Canada operated the Jetstream 31, linking MBS with Toronto, Canada.
*American Eagle Airlines operated Shorts 360 turboprop aircraft between MBS and Chicago, Illinois, as well as Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Traverse City. American left MBS in the late 1980s.
*Chicago Express, the now-defunct ATA Airlines carrier, served MBS in the early 1990s with daily service to Chicago Midway Airport using the Jetstream 31 turboprop aircraft.
*Comair (Delta Connection) briefly linked MBS with Cincinnati, Ohio, using Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, a 32-seat turboprop. Comair left MBS and started service in Flint, where they terminated service years later.
*Continental Airlines provided mainline service in the 1980s to Cleveland, Ohio. The airline used McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and Boeing 737 aircraft on this route. Mainline service was downgraded to Continental Express service in the late 1980s. Continental Express used Beechcraft 1900 turboprop aircraft. Service to Flint and Chicago Midway also existed in 1992. The airline left MBS in the mid-1990s and returned in 2002. Service was dropped to Cleveland again in 2003.
*Republic Airlines served MBS in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The airline linked MBS with Detroit using the DC-9 aircraft. During this time, Republic Express provided turboprop service to Flint, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City. Republic stopped MBS service when they merged with Northwest Airlines in the 1980s. Northwest still serves MBS today.
*Skyway Airlines (The Midwest Express Connection) served MBS in the 1990s with service to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, using the Beechcraft 1900 turboprop aircraft. Skyway also tried service to Toronto, Flint, and Grand Rapids in the late 1990s. The airline pulled out in the late 1990s.
*United Airlines provided MBS with mainline service since commercial service was started. In the 1980s and 1990s, United linked MBS with Chicago using Boeing 737 and 727 aircraft. Service to Denver, Colorado, also existed in the 1980s. Mainline United left MBS in the late 1990s, and was replaced with United Express, which still serves MBS with service to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport using the 50 seat Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) aircraft.
*US Airways began service to MBS in 1996, operating Fokker 100 and Boeing 737 aircraft to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mainline service ended soon after, and US Airways Express assumed the Pittsburgh flights using the Beech 1900 and Saab 340 aircraft. US Airways suspended service to MBS just two days after entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late 2002. At the time it was the only city for US Airways to drop. Since then, US Airways has also left Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids, leaving Detroit as the only Michigan destination served by US Airways.
*Air Force One landed at the airport two times during the 2004 United States Election for nearby rallies in support of George W. Bush (Air Force One also visited the airport in 1974 when then President Richard M. Nixon made a speech at the airport and arrived to give endorsement to a Congressional candidate).

Current operations

Once the third busiest airport in Michigan, MBS has fallen in air service and passenger numbers. One major reason for this is the low-cost competition at nearby Bishop International Airport in Flint, which offers more flights to more destinations and often cheaper fares.Fact|date=January 2008

2006 enplanements were 200,150 boardings, a 6.33% drop from the previous year. [ [http://www.vaseyaviation.com/enplane06.xls PRELIMINARY AIRPORT ENPLANEMENTS] , Vassey Aviation Group]

New Terminal

In early 2007, it was announced that the Airport Commission has approved plans for the construction of a new state-of-the-art passenger terminal. This new $48-million, 75,000 ft2 project would begin sometime in 2007 and will take 18 months. The new terminal will be built just north of the current terminal. Airport officials hope this will bring more airlines and more competition to MBS. [Stanton, Ryan J. [http://www.mlive.com/saginaw/stories/index.ssf?/base/business-2/119868241537160.xml&coll=9 Plans reach high with federal funds] , The Bay City Times, December 26, 2007]


* Northwest Airlines Gates 4 and 6 (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit)
** Northwest Airlink operated by Compass Airlines (Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul)
** Northwest Airlink operated by Pinnacle Airlines (Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul)

* United Airlines Gate 2
** United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines (Chicago-O'Hare)
** United Express operated by Mesa Airlines (Chicago-O'Hare)

ee also

* Michigan World War II Army Airfields


External links

* [http://www.mbsairport.org/ MBS International Airport] (official site)
* [http://www.michigan.gov/aero/ Michigan Bureau of Aeronautics]

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