You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

Pittsfield Township, residents ask federal government to block Ann Arbor airport expansion

By Amy Biolchini

The Pittsfield Township Board of Trustees and a citizen group have formally asked U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to stop the proposed runway expansion at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport, township authorities announced Tuesday.


The Ann Arbor Municipal Airport, pictured in Jan. 2010. Owned and operated by the city of Ann Arbor, it's located in Pittsfield Township.

The township board and the Committee for Preserving Community Quality - a group of 400 residents from Pittsfield and Lodi townships, Ann Arbor and Saline - submitted a petition to the federal government asking it to deny approval and funding for the project, citing safety and environmental risks it would pose to residents living near the airport.

Acting under a legal provision that gives communities the ability to directly petition the transportation secretary when an airport is located in one community and governed by another and the governing authority requests federal funds for airport projects, the township and citizen group have submitted a 54-page petition.

The Ann Arbor City Council has plans pending for the expansion of the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport, which is located within Pittsfield Township but owned and operated by the city of Ann Arbor.

In August, council members voted 6-3 to approve a $42,500 grant contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation's Office of Aeronautics for work related to an ongoing environmental assessment.

That study still must be finalized, reviewed and approved by MDOT and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Pittsfield Township has been working in tandem with a group called the Committee for Preserving Community Quality to oppose the expansion of the airport for the past four years.

The city wants to lengthen the runway to 4,300 feet, which the township fears would bring larger and heavier jets to the airport. The airport's runway is 3,500 feet long, and the facility is near a residential subdivision.

About 15 percent of the water pumped to Ann Arbor’s Water Treatment Plant comes from wells located at the city's airport.

In addition to calling for the transportation secretary to block the expansion, the petition calls for the city of Ann Arbor to consult with and receive the approval of Pittsfield Township before beginning any construction with federal funds.

The petition also asks for a more detailed Environmental Impact Statement be conducted to assess the impact on the surrounding communities, should the transportation secretary choose not to immediately halt the expansion.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Patricia Lesko

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Pittsfield's elected leaders are doing a better job looking out for Ann Arbor than is John Hieftje. They were the ones who turned down their "opportunity" to shovel money into John Hieftje's county-wide transit plan by pointing out: "AATA's proposed express route to Canton Township in its five-year service plan, and an elected official didn't think Pittsfield Township voters should be paying out for that kind of service." On February 7, 2011 Steve Kunselman introduced a resolution which City Council approved to direct staff to REMOVE this item from the city's CIP ( Interestingly, new City Administrator Steve Powers recently informed Council members that thanks to a 2008 Michigan statute, City Council members do not have the "right" to vote to approve the CIP as a whole. Several Council members are very concerned about this claim, specifically because despite the 2011 resolution, the expansion of the AA Airport magically reappeared in the Capital Improvement Plan. The more interesting question, of course, is who is behind this effort to ignore Council's 2011 resolution and put the runway expansion back into the Capital Improvement Plan? The Airport is a money loser. Former City Administrator Roger Fraser built very expensive hangers to house jets that are not, at the moment, allowed to land at the Municipal Airport. Then, Fraser tried to ram through a runway expansion. Political insiders will tell you this isn't about commerce for the city, but about U of M's new football stadium with its $80,000 box seats, and corporate sponsors who have to land their jets at Willow Run and then drive 30 minutes to Ann Arbor.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

This is a very modest expansion! A 4300' Runway will still limit this airport to relatively small aircraft including small and light jets. You will see negligible impacts to noise and traffic increases. Keep in mind jet traffic lands and takes off, and gets out of the area quickly and quietly. Additionally modern mid/high-bypass turbofan jets that would be using this airfield are very quite to begin with arguably quieter then the aircraft utilizing this airport right now.. Additionally they will not be flying in the pattern as the smaller, typically louder piston and propeller driven aircraft are doing. This expansion contrary to some commenters will make the surrounding communities safer and does provide higher safety margins for operators. The increased jet traffic would come from business's in and around the AA city limits and their business partners. There would be increased visitors for big events such as UM Football games from both alumni and competing teams fans. This creates huge revenue and creates jobs directly and indirectly. This additional revenue then may be used to make all those improvements some of you were asking for like, police, fire fighters, beautification of AA area. You can't get that stuff for free! Currently AA and the communities are loosing vasts sums of revenue to competing airports due to the runway limitations. The additional runway length will make AA a more attractive place for businesses looking to startup or relocate to the city and give them a competitive advantage. Most insurance companies require 5000 of runway for jet aircraft. Right now there are 2 jet aircraft based at the airport. Which is the only reason they can operate in and out of this airport. You don't see other jet currently because they are going to Willow Run and Metro. Willow run will remain a cargo aircraft hub, where you'll see large jets, and MUCH older and Much nosier aircraft operating you commenters fear.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

I ran out of room in my comments above, so I am expanding on some key points below. The airport has a public Master Plan, part of these master plans are the long term plans for the airport which often have detailed plans more then 20 years out. The airport expansion has been planned for decades. Those of you who moved into the area surrounding the airport, without doing your research should be ashamed that your fighting this. The airport was built in a rural area, urban sprawl moved you next door. Regardless as I said before the additional revenue will greatly offset the increase in traffic and noise. People seem to have this misconceived idea that the Ann Arbor airport will turn into Metro airport with take offs and landings large and heavy jet aircraft nearly every minute of the day. You will not see anything like this. There will not be scheduled airline service in and out of the airport! The increased runway length will also allow better utilization of the airport and an increase in instrument approaches. Many jets are capable of utilizing a 3500' runway, however due to safety considerations they choose not to operate out of ARB because there is far to little room for error and it is not safe for the operator or the surrounding communities. This additional extension would make the difference in allowing it to be safe for many more operators. Additionally allowing them to take on more fuel, which equates to more revenue for the airport and community again! Aviation is big business and brings with it lots of profitable employers and money to it's community.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

The runway safety plan was asked for by A2 City Council. The Airport Advisory Committee (BTW the AAC has seats on the committee for Pittsfield Twp and Lodi Twp.) made the recommendation to FAA for the airport layout plan for three reasons: 1. To eliminate a blind spot where the tower can't see airplanes on the ground. 2. To make the airport safer for all airplanes using the runway. 3. To eliminate the possibility of further over runs. Shifting the runway to the SW does place aircraft lower over Stonebridge when landing on Runway 06, which is only used less than 25% of the time due to prevailing winds. Hope this clears things up some.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

Tag. Why don't you get INFORMED. Review every incident report at ARB. Once you do that, you will understand that it has NOTHING to do with SAFETY ! Most aircraft at ARB run off to the SIDE of the runway. Those who ended up in the dirt and te end of the concrete were CLEARLY PILOT ERROR. Here is fr Southwest Midway overrun: "But other safety experts said the length of the runway should not be used as a scapegoat in overrun accidents. "It is not the runway length that's the issue," said Bernard Loeb, who was director of aviation safety at the NTSB during the mid-1990s. "Runways are either adequate or they're not." Now as you contemplate the NTSB words again: "It is not the runway length that's the issue," I am sure you are well aware that most of ARB's single engine aircraft need less than one half of the existing runway. The "safety" argument used to FOOL the AA council, was disingenuous at best. Somehow, when ARB used the "safety" card, they forgot to inform the Council that they have also inserted a *WEIGHT INCREASE* in the airport layout plan they asked the council to approve. In fact, the max weight limit at ARB have moved over the years from 12,500 lbs to recent weight limit increase of 40,000lbs PER AXEL (!) Again, the "airport" cried "safety" while hiding the WEIGHT LIMIT increase embedded in their plan. So....please spare us the "safety" smoke screen.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

So....please spare us the "noise & pollution" smoke screen.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

The airport is fine as it is. Willow Run is underutilized. Pittsfield Township doesn't need the increased taxes, noise from larger jets, and the pollution that will inevitable follow. What happens when there is a major fuel leak? People who purchased homes in the area did so with the current airport and noise levels; they did not purchase homes next to an airport with larger jets and the noise and pollution they bring.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

Very well said JRW !


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

It would help inform citizens to know how many more classes of aircraft would be able to use the airport at 4300 feet as opposed to the current 3500 feet. If that number is zero more aircraft classes, then I would tend to believe the proposal IS nothing more than a safety issue. If there are more and larger aircraft classes that could use the airport at 4300 feet, they are currently flying in and out of somewhere. Once we know which and where, we can examine the actual financial impact of having them come and go from Ann Arbor and the owners of those aircraft can make their case. And we can look into actual safety records instead of imagining some nebulous, unknown "other."


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

Amy and Tim The types of planes that can use an airport with a given official classification is more complex that the way you have described. The runway classification does not limit the size and types of aircraft that can land on a runway. The decision to land on a specific runway is entirely at the discretion of the pilot, based on information from charts and the tower. All B-II small aircraft are currently capable of operating on the existing 3,505 ft runway without weight restriction. However, larger planes (jets) already do use this B-II certified runway but with weight and fuel restrictions. Any extension to the runway will not change the operation of B-II classification aircraft, but will allow larger aircraft (jets in the C-I and C-II categories) to land and operate out of the airport with full weight and fuel. Amy, when you are at the airport today, perhaps ask what classification of jets currently use the airport (C-I and C-II jets, with fuel and weight restrictions) and if it will be possible to use them without restrictions on a 4300ft B-II classified runway... You may be surprised by the answer!


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

That's correct. In reality, extending the runway to 4300 ft will not all of a sudden allow huge jets to fly in as opponents to the expansion assume. The very light jets (VLJ) and medium sized jets such as the Citation 550 and 560 already can land at ARB. The problem is a weight issue. They can land and take off at minimum fuel and passenger weight with 3500 feet, and even then it's sketchy. They have to plant the landing gear right on the numbers, aggressively use reverse thrusts that are very loud and put a lot of stress on the brakes just to keep from over running. With a displaced threshold and an extra 800 feet will allow these same classification of aircraft to land at ARB, but with better safety. The next classification of corporate jet for example the Falcon 2000, Hawker 4000 or Citation X still won't be able to use the runway at all. The displaced threshold for RWY24 will also bring the approaching aircraft over State St at a higher altitude, again.. Safer. The runway extension will also make it so jets can use a lower take off thrust as well as less reverse thrust. Meaning a lot more quiet than it is now.

Amy Biolchini

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

The short answer: The Ann Arbor Municipal Airport would remain a class B-II airport with the expansion of the runway. No time for a long answer -- I'm on my way to that airport this morning for a flight related to this story.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

This would, however, require the sort of shoe-leather reporting that has sadly gone by the wayside in Ann Arbor.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Why should they block it. It would b ring more & bigger business to the are so that the larger planes could land. DUH!!!!!


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 4:30 a.m.

The expansion is needed so that multiple drone flights can be made to spot weed gardens, building and zoning violations, secret Tea Party meetings and unapproved artwork installations. Spartan fans will also be heavily monitored to prevent soon to be illegal displays or competitive sports advertizing. The low flying Gen-IV solar powered unmanned planes will also be searching for gaps in the achievement 'gap', wherever and whenever they exist.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

Did you say drones to monitor Spartan fans? Sir, you make a compelling case! Would those drones be able to detect an impending Spartan couch burning? If so, then we must have them. At any cost!

no flamers!

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

Outstanding work.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 4:07 a.m.

People. This is NOT about the economy. If you want larger aircraft and longer runways you have them and more (24/7 tower , rescue and such) RIGHT NEXT DOOR. Yes at Willow Run. ARB, will NEVER. Let me say it again: NEVER, be what Willow Run already is. Now, lets remember that Willow Run is UNDER utilized. So stop this nonsense talk about a boost to the economy. Never did , never will. Next point: AA gets a portion of our water FROM the aqua fur UNDER ARB. Would you like some LEAD with your water ??? Yes ! AvGas DOES contain lead ! The aqua fur is as high as 2 feet under ARB. Avgas is right above it. Last... To all residents of AA longing to waste more tax dollars on an airport: How about you open one right INSIDE YOUR city limit ? How about say...Burns Park ? Lets see this dog hunt. Have at it.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

PWJT8D. By all means...Why don't you inform the fine citizens of the "green" city of AA that the fuel over their water supply is "only" Low leaded fuel ? I am sure they will greatly appreciate that. As an AA and US tax payer, I would rather spend MY TAX DOLLARS on fixing AA pathetic roads and their absolute most idiotic traffic lights I have ever experienced. Now back to reality check: 1. Most traffic at ARB is single eng. Such aircraft need LESS than one half of the EXISTING runway. 2. It is ***NOT*** again, NOT about "safety". It was sold to AA council as such, BUT fact is that a runway is tailored for specific aircraft size/weight. If a runway is not long enough for your should use it, hence: If you end up in the dirt..."pilot error" is the correct term. Obviously, longer runway invite larger/heavier aircraft. It is a no brainer. Another no-brainer is that the best filter to keep larger aircraft OUT of flying over AA airspace IS maintaining the existing Rwy length. And last... Willow Run, is what ARB *WILL NEVER BE* no matter how much of our TAX DOLLARS will be dumped into it. Willow Run is a stone throw away. Oh, ya one more thing to those trying to pull the Helo life guard flights... Please get informed. A helicopter by definition needs NO RUNWAY. Uof M fix wing charters DO NOT USE ARB. In fact ANYONE who is safety minded should use the much better and UNDERUTILIZED Willow Run airport.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

Avgas is a low lead fuel. It contains an average of 1.5 grams of lead per gallon. Automotive racing fuels can contain anywhere from 3.0 to 6 grams per gallon. One NASCAR race puts out more toxins than Ann Arbor airport probably does in a whole year. Avgas is on the way out. The FAA and fuel companies are working hard to phase out leaded fuels and a lot of alternatives are already being used.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 4:16 a.m.

Ooops...excuse me: Should be "Aquifer" . Ya, the drinking water right under the leaded gas tanks that is.. Dang auto spellchecker '

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 2:31 a.m.

Not everyone who is against this lives at the end of the runway. It is a gross oversimplification to suggest that is the case.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 2:06 a.m.

This is the democratic process in action. The rights of local citizens of Pittsfield, Lodi, Saline, and Ann Arbor were not taken into account when federal funds were secured for fake "safety reasons" to expand a little hobby airport into a bigger one capable of landing small jets. The legal petition to the federal government is an extra-ordinary measure; only made possible by the covert manner in which the Ann Arbor City Council and Airport took this forward. The irony is if they had engaged local residents and local government from the start this move would be impossible and unwarranted. However, this has the potential to stop this folly right now - and prevent it from ever being considered in the future. That is the story here. Not the usual trash spouted by the jet friendly airport crowd - "big is better", "Nimbys getting in the way of progress", "residents knew a little airport could suddenly expand into something else" blah blah blah. This is much bigger than that. I have a feeling Ann Arbor city council have just wasted a lot of our money....

Basic Bob

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

"Rights of local citizens"... You have a right to elect people to your local government. You do not have a right to control what other property owners do with their land. Citizens of Ann Arbor have more say than township residents because they directly elect the owners of this property. "Covert manner"... The airport advisory board has regular meetings, most of which are uninteresting. This runway expansion has been talked about for decades. "Stop this folly"... If you believe some outgoing bureaucrat in Washington really cares more about some whiny petitioners rather than his safety experts and the local airport board. You might get a half-hearted attempt from Pittsfield in opposition to the runway expansion, but you will soon see that it is simply a negotiating tactic for the widening of State Road.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:58 a.m.

If you bought a house at the end of a runway, it's your problem. Progress does not stop in a certain area just because you bought a house near that place.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 2:30 a.m.

Your comment ignores that the people who live at the end of the runway aren't the only ones complaining. We get it - those people have little standing to complain. But the rest of us do.

Ryan Burns

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:54 a.m.

I'd like to know what the real need for this project is. It seems very vague. Is it really safety? It seems that there would be FAA regulations for airstrip length and plane type which would be followed, making this rationale hard to understand, as surely the airport is already following them. Some have asserted a link to economic growth but I'm not sure what it is, even with the expansion no one will be flying freight of any quantity out, and, as stated, Willow Run is very close. Is it to allow small jets to fly in for game day? I do live somewhat near the airport and I can say that the one small jet that uses the airport is certainly louder than the prop planes, which I find whimsically charming. I think Tom Whitaker is right on, in that just because there is a small airport present, especially one bounded by roadways and seemingly growth-limited, it doesn't mean nearby homeowners should have anticipated a radical alteration in traffic from cessnas to jets. (However, it's not even clear if this is, in fact, what is proposed). You could equally well tell someone that they knew there was *land* by their house so they shouldn't have an opinion when a jetport / chemical plant / tasteless haloween costume store is built there. Maybe there is a good justification for lengthening the runway, but it never seems to be stated.

Anthony Clark

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 5:52 a.m.

The FAA can't mandate runway length, but they can and do make recommendations. Airports are classified based on the wingspan and approach speeds of the airplanes that are using that airport. Not planes that will theoretically use it, but the planes that actually use the airport currently. Ann Arbor Airport is a class b2. The FAA recommends a runway of 4200 feet for a category b2 airport at Ann Arbor's field elevation. The Michigan Department of Transportation recommends a runway length of 4300 feet for all category b2 airports in Michigan. That is why the airport advisory committee settled on 4300 feet. It wasn't arbitrarily chosen.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

Read what eldegee wrote above.

buvda fray

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:41 a.m.

Airplanes are so cool people pay to watch them fly at airshows. Jets sound a bit louder but they go by so much faster and climb high so quickly, you'll never notice them. Lucky airport neighbors can watch them for free.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

And by the way, modern jet aircraft are more quiet than a lot of prop planes that use the airport.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:45 a.m.

I worked at ARB for 14 yrs and the expansion plan was around during that time. Either the homeowners didn't ask the right questions, or they were flat out lied to by their salespeople/realtors (which wouldn't surprise me). When the first Stonebridge models were built. some co-workers went to take a look and were told by a salesperson that the airport would be closing in 10 years. Airports do expand though, it shouldn't have come to a surprise to anyone. In my career, I worked at nine different airports (and several Air Force bases). At every one of them, people would complain about something. If it wasn't expansion, it was noise, it was pollution, it was the radar hurting their brains or making them sterile. The runway expansion is needed mostly during hot weather operations because of a little thing called Density Altitude. Basically the air is thinner, the aircraft develop less lift and need more runway to land and to take off. More runway equals greater safety for everyone, including those on the ground. On hot days, some aircraft will divert to YIP, PTK or DTW because they need that extra 500 feet. And that means the ARB Airport, FBO's, the city, and local businesses lose out. No fuel sales, tie down fees, pilot supplies, food/meals, taxi cabs, etc. That runway expansion was needed 20 years ago and it is still needed today.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

"The runway expansion is needed mostly during hot weather operations because of a little thing called Density Altitude. Basically the air is thinner" This is true, and I always get a chuckle when I hear a sportscaster say that it's harder to hit a home run on hot, humid days.

Amy Biolchini

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

The density altitude that you've referenced is one of the main safety problems with the 3,500 foot runway, airport authorities say. You've beat me to the punch on that one.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Thanks for actually making what sounds like a reasonable assessment of the case for expanding the runway. First one I've read in these "pages."


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

Seems like many people are reading what they want to into this story. 1. Everything I've read from and previous sources say this runway project is for safety. Can anyone point to a source that states differently or is that all hyperbole? 2. The funds are not coming from the city of Ann Arbor but from Federal tax dollars. 3. This runway project is also necessary to facilitate the expansion of South State St. from Ellsworth to Michigan Ave. a road that is in desperate need of expansion. 4. NIMBY is very active here. Seems a LOT like last week when North Ann Arbor people were complaining about UM's solar array. Ugh!


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Tag. Why don't you get INFORMED. Review every incident report at ARB. Once you do that, you will understand that it has NOTHING to do with SAFETY ! Most aircraft at ARB run off to the SIDE of the runway. Those who ended up in the dirt and te end of the concrete were CLEARLY PILOT ERROR. Here is fr Southwest Midway overrun: "But other safety experts said the length of the runway should not be used as a scapegoat in overrun accidents. "It is not the runway length that's the issue," said Bernard Loeb, who was director of aviation safety at the NTSB during the mid-1990s. "Runways are either adequate or they're not." Now as you contemplate the NTSB words again: "It is not the runway length that's the issue," I am sure you are well aware that most of ARB's single engine aircraft need less than one half of the existing runway. The "safety" argument used to FOOL the AA council, was disingenuous at best. Somehow, when ARB used the "safety" card, they forgot to inform the Council that they have also inserted a *WEIGHT INCREASE* in the airport layout plan they asked the council to approve. In fact, the max weight limit at ARB have moved over the years from 12,500 lbs to recent weight limit increase of 40,000lbs PER AXEL (!) Again, the "airport" cried "safety" while hiding the WEIGHT LIMIT increase embedded in their plan. So....please spare us the "safety" smoke screen.

Amy Biolchini

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Tag, I'm working on a follow-up story on those very issues you've just raised. The safety concerns with the current runway are a major factor in the 800-foot extension, as is the State Road project.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

Could it be that the "safety" claim is hyperbole?

Basic Bob

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 11:43 p.m.

#3 will be the problem. This is Mandy's next big project.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

Why are ann arbor taxpayers in the airport business? Why do we need larger and noisier aircraft when willow run is so close?


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

Forget Madison. The real question is what does Boulder's airport look like? We are much more envious of Boulder than we are of Madison.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

Being a Badger, I can proudly say Madison's airport is much, much larger than Ann Arbor's. Ann Arbor is not #1 in airports, probably not even in the top 10.

Fred Crothers

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

Well I'd solve all the issues! Let's just do away with the whole air port, move the spare air helicopters to willow Run adding more time to get to an emergency situation! then there's the people that work there of course we don't need any maintenance people to maintain the run ways we'd save lots there oh yes and then we could build another WHOLE SUBDIVISION to cram more people into a smaller place. But then we'd need to move the Fire department because the noise from all those sirens going off, rushing to save peoples lives, would cause too much noise in a residential area! I quit, I'm moving to an island where there is NO ONE to argue with!

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

I'll take the non-air helicopters.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

And I am called a complainer - geeze


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

To what extent does the written agreement between the Township and the City still pertain (I believe it dates to the late 1970s.)

Basic Bob

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 11:41 p.m.

The boundary agreement does not expire. On the north side of the line, the township will not oppose annexation to the city. On the south side of the line, the city will not annex land from the township. There are large areas of Pittsfield still owned by the city of Ann Arbor - the airport and the landfill. But even though the city owns them, they are not part of the city.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

Ann Arbor developing in another community without any input from those residents? Isn't that what the U-M does in Ann Arbor?


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

Living in Saline near the takeoff/ landing pattern; I have been troubled by the excess noise. I am not opposed to economic growth but am not sure I'd like more aircraft noise. I'd rather see light rail expansion throughout the county which I believe will be the future for our economy.

Anthony Clark

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 5:42 a.m.

Zeeba, again come on out to the airport sometime. I will show you many airplanes, both prop and jet, that are much quieter than a passing train. I live right directly in line with the runway at Ann Arbor Municipal. My apartment also backs up against I-94. The noise from the freeway is much louder than the vast majority of planes flying over.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

Light rail or transit would be AWESOME and a huge eco boom - and draw a lot of young people to stay and maintain sprawl. The cost to start is much much higher. I can say that if anyone could do it it would be our region as we have so many already interested in it, so many students who already use mass transit (look at AATA ridership versus places like Detroit, GR, Flint, etc)

John of Saline

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:59 a.m.

zeeba, including horn? Those things are L O U D.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

I have never heard a train that is anywhere near as loud as a small jet taking off, even when you're standing right next to the tracks.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

Seriously? Your complaining about aviation noise and yet you want a train? General aviation decibels are kept around 60 to 65. However the train you want will exceed 90.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.

We live on the opposite side of AA from the airport and sound is therefore not a factor for us. However, there is no need to spend taxpayer money [Yes -- a Federal or State grant means spending taxpayer money! ] to accommodate larger airplanes when Willow Run is so close and so underused. Let's keep the AA airport for what is was designed for, a place for small, private planes.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

The thing is who wants to land in Willow Run?

Dog Guy

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

Longer runways are safer runways. The runway behind is as worthless as the air in the tanks and the altitude above.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:04 p.m.

I live in Saline and think this is a fabulous idea. I only wish it would allow for commercial jets to take off and land. I would be able to drive 5 mins and watch the 747's take off and land. I am all for this.

Jared Mauch

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

There is already an airport in saline (now closed) It was 2C3 and now the code is 68MI.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

Yeah, and people in Saline think it is a "fabulous idea" to force their school children to recite the pledge of allegiance each day at school. So there goes your credibility.

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

Build your own airport in Saline. Do you pay taxes for the ann arbor airport?

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.

Leave Ann Arbor issues to its residents. Build your own airport if you want one and pay taxes for it to.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:35 p.m.

"In August, council members voted 6-3 to approve a $42,500 grant contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation's Office of Aeronautics for work related to an ongoing environmental assessment.' Wonder why the country is broke? We spend stupid amounts of money to study everything to keep the environmentalists happy and then spend even more to implement their demands..........


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1 p.m.

If the "fill in your govt. here" didn't get professional opinion and made a decision on their own people would complain of incompetence and not qualified to make decisions. You can't have it both ways.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

Maybe you'd like Union Carbide to rebuild their Bhopal plant in your neighborhood? As an "environmentalist, I'll keep my mouth shut.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:30 p.m.

When Pittsfield Township proposed to build that subdivision west of the airport, ( when it was just a gravel pit ) the city tried to discourage the development of that area for homes.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Zanzerbar - do you have any citations of this opposition and warning? This would be useful I'm sure to the story.

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

No one is asking the City to shut down the airport.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

And so now the residents have to live with a airport in their neighborhood. And that was their choice.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

The city could have purchased it and did not.

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

Haven't seen him lately, but sometimes I've seen a little jet fighter trainer take off from ARB. I assume that's Bob Lutz.

Anthony Clark

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 5:39 a.m.

Bob Lutz has an L-29, a Soviet era jet trainer. It is based at Willow Run Airport. I doubt he would try to land it at Ann Arbor. But, who knows? He did cut uncomfortably close to me once in the pattern at Willow Run.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

Thank you Pittsfield Township! The City of Ann Arbor cannot afford a new and bigger airport. For example, a recent budget had an UNFUNDED need distribution of Alternative transportation + Airport improvements + Other transportation of 93%! Operating and maintenance costs for all of the new improvements are not included. Here are the sounds of folly that we hear in Ann Arbor: Big trains: Woooooooo Woooooooo Hieftje! Big train stations: Wally Wally Wally Hieftje! Big jets: Whoooooosh Whoooooosh Hieftje! Big fountains: Folly Folly Folly Hieftje! Flooding neighborhoods: Hubris Hubris Hubris Hieftje! Pothole laden roads: Wham bam, thank you Hieftje! These are the sounds in Hieftje's present and future in the middle of every night and day. These same sounds are nightmarish to citizens of the City of Ann Arbor. Why? Notice the sounds that are missing: Adequate numbers of staffed police cars, fire engines, snow plows, tree removal crews to trim overgrown and dead limbs, building inspectors to enforce housing ordinances that help keep tenants safe. . . These are the muted sounds associated with municipal service providers that help keep us safe. Funded expenditures for public safety and infrastructure care are in my tax bill now. In the city's folly spending, funds are diverted and undistributed to my family's care. . . Now, and in the future. May the families of Pittsfield Township be spared the detrimental effect of City of Ann Arbor folly! The sound of jets is not the least of your worries!

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

Sure these people bought houses knowing there was an airport nearby, but an airport of a certain size, accommodating small planes and fairly infrequently at that. They are only responding to the push by certain City officials' to expand the airport to handle bigger, louder, faster planes and the resulting increase in air traffic. They are not asking the City to shut down the current operation. It's like buying a house across from a small mom and pop farm only to have it purchased by a corporate farming operation who announces they intend to build a giant CAFO. While you could argue that both are agricultural operations, they clearly are very different and have substantially different effects on neighboring properties. One could certainly oppose the CAFO but be fine with the existing farm continuing to operate as it was. Besides, whatever happened to the Aerotropolis---that economic development of Wayne County's Willow Run Airport using Washtenaw County tax revenues, courtesy of Conan Smith? Why is the City trying to go out on its own instead of using that big, underutilized airport facility and getting some benefit from the money we're already spending there?

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

See my other response to you above, pitts-pete--I have no dog in this fight, but this issue is a whole order of magnitude different than what goes on between two average neighbors. Average homeowners have to follow the zoning ordinance. The City doesn't have to follow its own ordinance, has staff attorneys, the power of eminent domain, and money to spend. Citizens have the right to petition their government with their grievances and that's all these people are doing--expressing their opposition to a government plan for a project that will negatively change the conditions they are currently living under. They clearly feel strongly and I don't think anyone should be telling them to just sit back and take it.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

Tom - is your neighbor able to put an addition on his house if he is within the building envelope? I'm sure either your house or one of you neighbors was there first.... should no other house be built because it changes your view, even though they have the property rights to do so?


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

There's been talk of lengthening the runways of AA airport for 20 years. Why does everyone seem so surprised by this piece of news? I find small prop planes to be more annoying than the corporate jets that would use it?


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

Nobody is surprised by it. People have been fighting it for 20 years and will continue to do so because it's a crock. There are 2 perfectly adequate airports within 20 miles of Ann Arbor.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

More planes, bigger planes, more infrastructure equals considerably more costs to operate and maintain. Most municipalities don't like paying operating or maintenance costs - and homeowners don't like tax hikes to cover them, especially when they are not the direct beneficiaries of the services. Besides, Willow Run is still around, and it certainly handles big airplanes. If the extra 5 or 10 mile driving distance is a deal breaker to using it, I'd say you're dealing with an unsatisfiable, demanding client.


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

Shopping trips and parking cars have virtually no connection to airplanes and airports. Airports serve a select group of people, and it's not part of the daily routine for most people or companies - if it is, then the people and businesses should locate near an airport that satisfies their needs, a city shouldn't be expected to build one for them.

Anthony Clark

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 5:32 a.m.

That's like saying to someone who wants to go shopping in downtown Ann Arbor, "there isn't adequate parking here, use the parking structure in downtown Ypsilanti. It's only a 15 minute drive." Except that I won't have my car to make the 15 minute drive. It will be parked in Ypsilanti! Same thing if you are flying. You want to arrive and park your plane close to your destination. If someone has business to conduct in Ann Arbor, they are not going to fly to Willow Run Airport. They are going to land at Ann Arbor Airport.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

Wayne County owns the Willow Run after U-M sold it for $1 (as johnnya2 mentioned)


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

Maybe you do not understand this, but they are NOT owned by the same group. Your argument would be like somebody who wants to shop at Busch's and they want to build a store near your home but YOU don't like Busch's and you tell them, go shop at Meijer it is only 10-15 minutes away. I guess they are an "unsatifiable, demanding client" in your world.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

What? Only 4300 feet long? But our Gulfstream 650 needs at least 6000 feet to takeoff and our 550 is rated at 5910 minimum and my little firekitty Citation X eats at least 5100 feet. Get LaHood on the phone. What? He's leaving the agency? Well, stop the project until we get one of our own up there. Yes maam. Will that be all, Ms Pollay?


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:03 p.m.

I think you're onto something. Huge real estate developers like to fly their own jets in to their building sites. Commercial is for chumps. The DDA is merely meeting the demands of Mr. Market.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

Envy is more like it. For the speed candy - not the DDA money pits. Think NASA could use another launch facility up north? Yahooooo !!!

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

John of Saline why don't you use Saline's airport

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:26 p.m.

SOMEONE has class resentment.

Amy Biolchini

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

This afternoon I'm reporting "the rest of the story" (shout out to Paul Harvey and, in my opinion, the best Superbowl ad), so if you have questions you'd like to have answered, post them in the comments here.

Anthony Clark

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 3:33 a.m.

I, too, lived at Lake in the Woods under the approach/departure path at Willow Run. Now I live at Pheasant Run under the approach/departure path at Ann Arbor Airport. Vastly different mix of traffic. The cargo airlines at Willow Run used old airliners like the DC-8, 707, and Lockheed Electra. First generation business jets like the Lear 24, Sabreliner, and Falcon 50 were also common. These are all indeed very loud airplanes that you will never see at Ann Arbor Airport, with or without a runway extension. Just last week, I was at Ann Arbor Airport watching airplanes. I was momentarily distracted by a text message and looked up just in time to see a Cessna Citation Mustang rolling out after landing. I hadn't even heard it approach and land. It was quieter than the Cessna 172 that I fly. The loudest aircraft that operate out of Ann Arbor Airport are probably the U of M Survival Flight helicopters or the occasional old twin turboprop like a Mitsubishi MU-2. Those are still considerably quieter than the heavy jets at Willow Run. Those kinds of planes will never use Ann Arbor Airport for a number of reasons regardless if the runway is extended or not.


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

Anthony - I know exactly how loud they are. When I first moved to this area 10 years ago, I briefly lived in the Lake of the Woods complex in line with the Willow Run main runway. The noise was terrible - and small jets were the primary culprits. So I know from experience.

Anthony Clark

Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 5:22 a.m.

In response to zeeba, jet traffic at Willow Run is actually way down. Historically, Willow Run averaged around 150,000 operations per year while Ann Arbor Airport averages around 100,000. The high point for both airports over the last 20 years or so came in the late 90's. Willow Run reached 168,000 and Ann Arbor reached a high of 138,000. Both airports lost a lot of activity when the economy tanked. Willow Run lost more because they serve more segments of aviation - flight training, recreational flights, business aviation, charter flights, air cargo (both scheduled and unscheduled). Ann Arbor Airport is primarily flight training and recreational with some business, charter, and medical flights. Both airports have seen around 60,000 annual operations the past several years with Ann Arbor actually being a bit busier. As to your contention that all jets are "extremely loud", I think you would be very surprised if you actually visited the airport and observed some takeoffs and landings. The newer business jets are quite quiet.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

I have never heard any local business people making the case for expanding this airport. That probably means there is ONE (possibly two) haymaker(s) who wants to be able to fly his personal jet in and out. Who is that one haymaker? With two larger airports within 20 miles of Ann Arbor, there must be reasons jet owners do not want to fly into THOSE airports. Too busy, too expensive, whatever. What are the reasons? If there was a huge demand for air access to Ann Arbor, those people must currently be flying into Willow Run or Metro. How about letting them make their case publicly..

Dave Koziol

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 3:29 a.m.

I would love to see the Airport Authority questioned about their attitude towards Pittsfield Township. I was appalled at the way they handled the Lohr Road Non Motorized Vehicle Path. It seems like they have no desire to try to cooperate with the township they reside in.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

Yes. Please look into the local impacts of the revival of Willow Run airport, which dramatically increased jet traffic there. In particular, you might look into the decline of the Lake of the Woods apartment community, which is directly in line with the runway. Also, some figures comparing decibel levels of prop planes vs jets of any size would be useful. Jets are jets and they're all extremely loud.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

Some general background on how the airport is used would be helpful. I think most readers (myself included) have never used the airport and don't know much about what kind of planes use it, or how often.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:09 p.m.

If the runway is being lengthened for safety reasons, how many crashes have occurred during the last 40-50 years that we have had the current runway configuration?

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

I don't live anywhere near the airport pitts_pete, but I have studied planning and zoning. Governments have considerably more resources and legal power at their disposal (like eminent domain and staff attorneys). Those who feel they will be negatively affected by a government project such as this have few options. One is to petition the government with their grievances which is what these people are doing. My point above was simply that these people bought homes knowing there was an airport of a certain size and intensity. They have every right to object to the government trying to increase the size and raise the intensity. Other commenters have said these people should just shut up and take it. I don't agree.

Tom Teague

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

Has there been any discussion of noise abatement hours? for example, possibly limiting times when noisier aircraft could use the runways?


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Tom Whitaker - Did the airport aquire any additional land within the last 20 - 30 years (time frame when most the the homes nearby have been built)? Has there been any zoning changes which allow for this expansion? Are you able yourself to use your land within zoning laws as you choose (i.e. put on an addition to your home). I think you need to re-examine your understanding of this issue a come to the conclusion you just didn't do your homework prior to purchasing you house. Sorry for you but them are the rules of the game.....


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

I have heard before that the people in the subdivision were told when they bought their houses that the airport would never expand. Was there anything from the city to support this or was it merely their real estate agent making a promise he/she couldn't keep?


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

1. Does Governor Snyder fly on a jet to Lansing in and out of A2 Airport? 2. Who else flys on jets in and out of A2 Airport?

Amy Biolchini

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

ChrisW, good question. Noted.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

Are the approach vectors going to change? Will planes be flying lower over houses than before?

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

John: They clearly knew full well there was a small airport. What they DIDN'T know was the City was going to push to expand it, add bigger planes, and more air traffic. That's changing the game.

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

Why are Pittsfield Township people surprised that people want to use an airport as an airport?


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

I'm not sure how the comment that mentions DTW applies to this discussion. Apples and oranges. If the writer is afraid a longer runway would result in commercial air travel from ARB, that isn't going to happen. If the writer thinks small planes would be welcomed at DTW, that isn't going to happen either. The point of a somewhat longer runway has to do with safety. Yes, small jets can land and take off now, but they can't take off in many cases when loaded with any type of weight. The existing runway is too short. That's why both Domino's and Discount Tires quit the airport long ago. Discount corporate moved out of the area shortly thereafter. The airport has been around at least since the 1920's. Long before people began building houses next to it. I agree with Salinefan on that point. They got what they paid for.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

It was mentioned above that the current runway configuration has been in existence for 40-50 years. How many crashes/near crashes have been documented to show a need for such expansion. I have a feeling safety is on the list of why they want to do it, but probably not at the top.

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

Security considerations alone make it unlikely some airline would start a service out of ARB. Pre-9/11, I could see United running a twice-daily flight to their hub at O'Hare or something, but now the security problem would make that more annoying than it's worth.

Rick Stevens

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

Commenters should be aware that the airport made NO effort (exactly the opposite) to tell the neighbors of the airport (which, of course, includes the township) of its runway expansion plans. Instead, it issued a public statement well after the date by which public comments could be submitted. Such much for transparency and really wanting any input. And when the Greenway public path was being constructed the airport refused to provide an easement out of spite. The end result is that the path is way closer to the roadway than it should have been (you can get hit by slush from Lohr Road on one section of it). The airport and, sadly the City of Ann Arbor have been hostile and obstructive to any real discussion of the issues. It's unlikely the airport will entertain any real public input or dialogue into this project. The City of Ann Arbor and its residents should be ashamed of these actions and refuse to provide any further funding into this project.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

The City of Ann Arbor owns the land, and while I'm not sure on the specifics of annexation, they could take that route too.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

It's been talked about for years....

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

I don't think we need a bigger airport. I live right by there. Metro isn't too far away. The rich folks can take a limo ride from Metro.

Amy Biolchini

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:38 p.m.

The Ann Arbor Municipal Airport is a general aviation, class B2 airport, with some small corporate planes and jets. There is no scheduled passenger service. Several flight schools operate out of the facility.

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

Willow Run isn't that far away


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:59 p.m.

It's not the rich folks with the bigger jets. Smaller corporate jets, which many despise, already can land at Ann Arbor. This would accomodate larger freighter jets and potential charter jets. The potential for more businesses to move to the area would increase. I would take an economic increase in Ann Arbor over letting Wayne County try to bring in more jobs.

Chip Reed

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

@Amy- Do you know how long there has been an airfield at that site?

Amy Biolchini

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

According to Matt Kulhanek, the city's airport manager, the airport has been there since 1928. There have been different iterations of the runway configuration since that time. The runway has been as it is now -- 75 feet wide and 3,500 feet long -- for the past 40-50 years, Kulhanek said.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

It appears to be almost 73 years.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:18 p.m.

Are the planning to still put a bike path on the runway?


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

I have to agree with this one. Pittsfield vs Ann Arbor vs Sheriff vs Ypsilanti zoning. Which side do they come in under. This zoning stuff sucks.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

Oh, and who is going to enforce the crosswalk and bike path laws. City cops or Pittsfield township cops, maybe it should be U.S. Sky Marshals.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

Saline would never allow anything of this nature in it's fine city.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:30 p.m.

How about a crosswalk? Why should I have to look both ways just because a jet is coming.

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

Bikes would just ignore the control tower, like they ignore stop signs.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

Typical. People buy houses close to unsightly things (power lines, industrial buildings) and noisy things (airports, sports stadiums) and then complain about the appearance and noise. These people constantly try to get theses types of places to shut-down, move, scale down, and oppose expansion. Why don't you get a clue and move somewhere not near one of these types of places. They're cheaper for a reason. Expansion usually means more business/more work which is a good thing.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

Swcornell - that is incorrect, the fixed wing survival flight does not fly into Pontiac because of the lack of a longer runway at Ann Arbor. They also use Willow run. Why? - because it is safer, with a 24 hour tower and modern landing equipment. Safety is the key. Medical emergencies / transplants occur at any time not just in daylight, Ann Arbor would need significant expansion and upgrade to support this service.


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

Yes, jets like U of M's Survival Flight fixed wing rescue vehicle, which currently has to go to Pontiac and then patents shuttled from there via ambulance. Let this expansion happen!


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

They bought a home near an airport that handles small propeller planes almost exclusively - very few jets. Small planes are relatively unobtrusive - jets of any size are not. See the difference? Besides, there's no need for Ann Arbor to expand for jet traffic when Willow Run is so close by.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

Tom I don't understand why the people seem to not be able to hear you. I never heard one person complain about the airport that was there when they bought their house. Had they bought a house next to Detroit Metro I would totally understand what Salinefan is saying.

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

They aren't complaining about things as they are--which is the way they were when they bought their houses. They are concerned about the City's desire to change things--to add bigger and more frequent planes.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

"Why don't you build your own airport in saline next to your house." The airport was there before these people bought their houses. Ergo this was no surprise to them. Not like they awakened one day to find an airport next door. Understand the difference?

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

Why don't you build your own airport in saline next to your house.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

Larger jets mean more business and potentially more jobs. Is that a bad thing?


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

They once proposed to send the cargo jets to Willow Run airport. I am thinking they do that already. They can also send jets to WR for larger groups. I agree, again, Ann Arbor is going to fast become another NYC. Let the smaller planes land at Ann Arbor, send the bigger ones to WR. This is what it was built for. B25 and B52's were built here and so were the airplane to land on them.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

Currently, few jets use the Ann Arbor airport. An increase in jet traffic would be devastating for Stonebridge and neighborhoods east of the airport. Even small jets make a lot of noise. Ever been to Lake of the Woods in Ypsilanti? That was an upscale apartment community until Willow Run was rejuvenated. Now it's a ghetto. Why? Because it's right in line with the main runway and gets all kinds of jets flying over it - and there's not much difference between big and small. I should know, I used to live there. The small planes that fly over Stonebridge are practically silent by comparison.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

Actually , people (especially at Stonebridge) have been complaining about even the non-jet aircraft there for years and years, after buying those houses KNOWING that the airport was there. Hard to have a lot of sympathy.

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

@Useless: The people who bought these houses are not complaining about the airport as it is, nor asking for it to be shut down. It's the City that's trying to change the conditions under which they made their decisions to buy their houses, by seeking to add bigger, louder and more frequent planes.

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

And they wouldn't be 747s, obviously. Just smaller jets. No big deal.

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

They built/bought houses near an airport. Duh. It's not like 747s will be screaming overhead every 4 minutes. The most would be a few a day.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

The people owning houses near the airport, made an educated decision to purchase there homes, knowing that they lived close or adjacent to the airport - you can't complain now.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:07 p.m.

It's a bad thing if you have those larger jets taking off and landing over your house. Who wants that?