We are all elated that Mettetal may finally become permanent publically owned airport. It has taken much time and effort to bring about this feat and it took the clout of FAA and MDOT to do it. We applaud the effort of all who contributed.
But do you know how many airports have been lost in this area in the lifespan of some of our older members? Let's review some of the names in the tricounty area that didn't survive.
With the great migration out of Detroit after the second big war the suburbs built up rapidly and swallowed up the real estate at an alarming rate and took the airfield away with them.
Our most recent demises we all remember, Spencer soon to go, National-Hartzell on Ford Road, Salem out near the Vor, and McKinley out in Roseville.
Before these were the first incarnation of National at Middlebelt and Plymouth, where Wonderland Mall now sits, down Plymouth near Telegraph Road next to Koenig Silos was Burns Airport run by Ronnie Chapel and was the local junk yard for airplane parts, Tirangle Airport at the intersection of Ann Arbor Rd and Arbor Trail where the gliders flew, Christport out on Orchard Lake Road past 12 Mile Road, Ford, the present test track on Oakwood, Hanses on Ecorse Road, Nan Bar in Flat Rock, McEnnan, Marshall, Bielec, Milan, Oakland, Orion and on the Eastsite, Hartung, Warren, Wingsand Greater Detroit. Still farther back there was Haggerty at Michigan and Wyoming. And the list goes on. They are all memories now but at one time were home to many young fledgling pilots.
Detroit City Airport has had its problems trying to stay active over the years. Local neighbors since the 30's have been trying to close it down. Fortunately being city owned it has survived. It is about to lose its latest large airline customer. In the 30's it was a port for Pennsylvania Central Airlines which flew Boeing 247's and American with its Douglas DC-2S. They would arrive at the gate sporting a pennant above the pilot's window. They were known as the Flagship Fleet.
So we see that saving Mettetal is a minor miracle, something that has never happened in our local history. Let's hope it is a new beginning.