MBS International Airport

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MBS International Airport
MBS International Airport Logo.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Bay County, Michigan, Midland, Michigan, Saginaw, Michigan
Serves Saginaw, Michigan
Midland, Michigan
Bay City, Michigan
Location Tittabawassee Township, Saginaw County, Michigan
Elevation AMSL 668 ft / 204 m
Coordinates 43°31′58″N 084°04′47″W / 43.53278°N 84.07972°W / 43.53278; -84.07972Coordinates: 43°31′58″N 084°04′47″W / 43.53278°N 84.07972°W / 43.53278; -84.07972
Website www.mbsairport.org
MBS is located in Michigan
Location of the airport in Michigan
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 8,002 2,439 Asphalt
14/32 6,400 1,951 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Total passengers 244,504 Decrease 10%
Total enplanements 122,766 Decrease 10%
Aircraft operations (2012) 25,810 Decrease 5%
Based aircraft (2012) 25 Increase 9%

MBS International Airport (IATA: MBSICAO: KMBSFAA LID: MBS) is located in Freeland, Michigan, serving the nearby cities of Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw. It was formerly named Tri City Airport or Freeland Tri-City Airport. The airport was renamed 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 commercial airport is a special municipal body owned by Bay County and the cities of Midland and Saginaw. The airport's name is an initialism formed from the names of these three communities and it is governed by a nine-member commission made up of three members from each of them.


MBS International Airport covers 3,200 acres (13 km2) and has two runways:

  • Runway 5/23: 8,002 ft × 150 ft (2,439 m × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt
  • Runway 14/32: 6,400 ft × 150 ft (1,951 m × 46 m), Surface: Asphalt

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2012, the airport had 25,810 aircraft operations (down from 28,162 in 2010 and 50,254 in 2006), an average of 71 per day: 62% general aviation, 35% air taxi, 1% scheduled commercial, and 2% military. There are 25 aircraft based at this airport: 36% single-engine, 20% multi-engine, and 44% jet.[1]


Ticketing Area

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

The 1980s and 1990s saw a lot of growth at MBS. During this time, airline service expanded and many airlines began serving MBS.

Current operations[edit]

Baggage Claim Area

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.[citation needed]

2006 enplanements were 200,150 boardings, a 6.33% drop from the previous year.[3]

Air Wisconsin runs ground services for United Express.

Delta Air Lines merged with Northwest Airlines.

Until October 1, 2009, Mesaba Airlines ran ground services for Delta Connection.

Compass Airlines, Comair, and Mesaba Airlines ground handling merged into one service called Regional Elite Airline Services. Regional Elite is 100% owned by Delta Air Lines.

DAL Global Services operates ground handling duties for Delta and Delta Connection at MBS.

New Terminal[edit]

New Terminal Under Construction
New Terminal Concourse

A $55 million, 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) terminal opened on October 31, 2012.[4] The new terminal, designed by RS&H, was built just north of the former terminal. Airport officials hope the new terminal will bring more airlines and more competition to MBS.[5] The Airport Commission approved plans for the construction of a new state-of-the-art passenger terminal in 2006. Construction began in 2008.


Airlines Destinations
Delta Connection Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Seasonal: Atlanta[6]
United Express Chicago-O'Hare

Top domestic destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from MBS (Dec 2013 - Nov 2014)[7]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Detroit, Michigan 71,000 Delta Connection
2 Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois 37,000 United Express
3 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 14,000 Delta Connection
4 Atlanta, Georgia 1,000 Delta Connection

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for MBS (Form 5010 PDF), effective December 12, 2013
  2. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation. Measures of Michigan Air Carrier Demand, Michigan.gov, Retrieved January 24, 2014
  4. ^ Lynch-Morin, Kathryn. By the numbers: New MBS International Airport passenger terminal, The Saginaw News via MLive, October 26, 2012
  5. ^ Stanton, Ryan J. Plans reach high with federal funds, The Bay City Times via MLive, December 26, 2007
  6. ^ Delta beginning non-stop service from MBS to Atlanta, Midland Daily News, November 24, 2013, retrieved November 25, 2013
  7. ^ cite web |title=Saginaw/Bay City/Midland International (MBS) Summary Statistics|url=http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=MBS&Airport_Name=Saginaw/Bay City/Midland, MI: MBS International&carrier=FACTS
  8. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 7, 2009. 

External links[edit]