Sawyer open house designed to showcase facility

Sawyer International Airport is getting ready for it’s inaugural “Sawyer Discovery Day” open house, set for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 16 – an event aimed at familiarizing residents of the area with the airport.

We think this will be a great event. We recommend attending and we support the Marquette County Board’s recently approved backing of the activities.

“Designed to draw participation from the surrounding area, Discover Sawyer Day will spotlight the airport by providing activities such as a pancake breakfast served by the Breakfast Rotary, a runway walk or bike, Young Eagle flights, … a car show, bounce houses and multiple local vendors,” Marquette County Board Chairman Gerald Corkin said in a letter to local chambers of commerce, welcome centers and convention and visitors bureaus. “We believe this day will be beneficial to Sawyer International Airport, Marquette County and the Sawyer Community.”

Sawyer International Airport Manager Duane DuRay said permission is being sought from the Federal Aviation Administration to close the runway for 90 minutes for the run-bike, which is set for 7:30 a.m.

“We have coordinated with all of the carriers, American Eagle, with Delta, with FedEx and with Boreal Aviation so that this will not affect any schedules,” DuRay said. “This should draw a lot of good public support for the airport and open doors for the community to come out.”

We think this is a rare chance to walk or ride a bicycle down the runway at the airport and we suspect many people will want to take advantage of this opportunity organizers have likened to walking across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day.

Meanwhile, the county board recently approved receiving a $15,000 Michigan Air Service Program Grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Aeronautics to promote the airport and the service of its American and Delta air carriers. The county received a similar grant last year for $25,000.

The Air Service Program issued its first grant in 1988, helping to stabilize and expand commercial air service by promoting increased use of services available at local airports.

We think all of these efforts to help let people know more about their county airport will help serve the area well now and into the future.