Airborne Facts

  • First scheduled passenger airline service in the state was Stout Air (Detroit to Grand Rapids) in 1926.
  • The nation's first aircraft show attracted 40 exhibitors and was held in Detroit in 1928.
  • The first pilot to transport merchandise, drop live bombs from a plane, and search for criminals from the air was Michigan-born Phillip Orin Parmalee of Matherton, Mich. 
  • The first county airport to be dedicated by the State Aeronautics Commission was Emmett County Airport in 1929.
  • The first licensed municipal airport in Michigan was the Kalamazoo Municipal Airport in December 1929.
  • The busiest airport in Michigan is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, in Romulus. It handles more than a half million takeoffs and landings every year.
  • Michigan has 235 airports open to public use, of which 129 are publicly owned and 106 are privately owned.
  • Nineteen Michigan airports have scheduled passenger service.
  • Michigan's commercial airports handle more than 20 million passengers per year.
  • Kim Sigler became the first Michigan governor to hold a pilot's license in 1947. 
  • Michigan's first rooftop heliport was located on the Lumberman's Bank Building in Muskegon in 1965.

(Updated: July 7, 2015)