Coleman A. Young International Airport

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Coleman A. Young International Airport
Detroit City Airport 2005 (cropped).jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Detroit
ServesDetroit, Michigan
Elevation AMSL626 ft / 191 m
Coordinates42°24′33″N 083°00′36″W / 42.40917°N 83.01000°W / 42.40917; -83.01000
DET is located in Michigan
Location in Michigan
DET is located in the United States
DET (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15/33 5,090 1,551 Asphalt
7/25 4,025 1,227 Asphalt
Statistics (2007)
Aircraft operations77,571
Based aircraft97
Sources: Airport[1] and FAA[2]

Coleman A. Young International Airport[1] (IATA: DET, ICAO: KDET, FAA LID: DET) (Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport.[2] formerly Detroit City Airport until 2003) is six miles northeast of downtown Detroit, in Wayne County, Michigan. It is owned by the City of Detroit.[2] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a regional general aviation facility.[3] In 2003, it was given its current name in honor of the late former Mayor of Detroit.

The airport was once served by Southwest Airlines[4] and Pro Air, both of which operated Boeing 737s from the airfield. Chautauqua Airlines served the airport but ceased service less than a year later.[5] Spirit Airlines planned to fly McDonnell-Douglas DC-9s to DET in 1995, but the service never began.[6] Pro Air, a scheduled passenger airline, was based at the airport and grounded by the FAA due to poor maintenance performance. The airport now has no scheduled passenger airline service.

The airport's passenger terminal is also operated by the US Customs department, which serves private and cargo airplanes.

The 53,000-square-foot (4,900 m2) passenger terminal includes space for restaurants, retail concessions, car rental facilities, airline offices, baggage pick-up and claim areas, boarding areas and passenger lounges. The airport has three 1,000 space parking lots.

The airport was listed as an asset of the city of Detroit which could be sold to cover debts as a result of the city's 2013 bankruptcy filing. The future of the site as a functioning airport after such a sale is unclear.[7]

The city of Detroit says that the facility has staff and is operational. It is listed as an asset of the city, but its future plans are in doubt.[8][9][10]

Former airline service (1966-2000)[edit]

The following airlines served Detroit City Airport:[5]

DET was Detroit's primary airport until 1946-47 when almost all airline flights moved to Willow Run Airport and later to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. The March 1939 Official Aviation Guide shows 13 weekday departures on American, 10 on Pennsylvania Central and one on Marquette.[11] The June 1946 OAG shows 100 weekday departures on Pennsylvania Central, American, United, Northwest, Eastern, TWA, C&S and Michigan Central.[12]


The airport covers 264 acres (107 ha) at an elevation of 626 feet (191 m). It has two asphalt runways: 15/33 is 5,090 by 100 feet (1,551 m × 30 m) and 7/25 is 4,025 by 100 feet (1,227 m × 30 m).[2]

In 2007 the airport had 77,571 aircraft operations, average 212 per day: 88% general aviation and 11% air taxi and 1% military. 97 aircraft were then based at the airport: 84% single-engine, 11% multi-engine, 4% jet and 1% ultralight.[2][13]

Until around 1965 a gas tank 330 ft tall was at 42.40817N 83.00926W NAD83, less than 630 ft west of the centerline of runway 15/33.

In 1989 mayor Coleman A. Young abandoned a plan to expand the airport's runway because the adjoining Gethsemane Cemetery blocked the way, and surviving relatives protested. A few years later Southwest Airlines ended operations there, citing the city's inability to keep its promises and the need for longer runways to allow for larger jets.[14][15][16] in 1988, complaints were registered because the city removed/discarded several families' memorial statuary without notification, replacing them with simple flat in-ground markers, stating that the statues posed a collision risk should an airplane go off the end of the runway.

The segment of E. McNichols (6 Mile) Road. between Conner Ave. and French Rd at the north end of the airport was closed off and annexed to the airport, allowing for expansion of the approach to Runway 15 and additional service roads. Satellite photos still show some ruins of the original roadbed and a driveway to a motel and topless bar that used to reside on the south side of McNichols near Conner.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Coleman A. Young International Airport Archived 2008-05-01 at the Wayback Machine at City of Detroit website
  2. ^ a b c d e FAA Airport Master Record for DET (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2009-08-27.
  3. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  4. ^ Moore, Natalie Y., Detroit struggles to lift City Airport off ground Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine, Detroit News, August 4, 2004, Retrieved 2010-01-27
  5. ^ a b McConnell, Darci. Mayor: Fix or shut Detroit City Airport, Detroit News, March 20, 2002, Retrieved 2010-01-27
  6. ^ "Spirit Airlines to use jets at Detroit City Airport". Ludington Daily News. Associated Press. March 25, 1995.
  7. ^ Snell, Robert (August 30, 2014). "Detroit may sweeten bankruptcy deal with real estate to persuade creditor to settle". The Detroit News.
  8. ^ "AIRPORT, COLEMAN A. YOUNG INTERNATIONAL". City of Detroit. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  9. ^ Gallagher, John (April 14, 2018). "Old Detroit City Airport crumbles as city rejects offers of millions". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  10. ^ Ferretti, Christine (October 3, 2019). "Detroit city airport plan would clear neighborhood, close runway". The Detroit News. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  11. ^ Official Aviation Guide, Chicago IL: Official Aviation Guide Company, 1939
  12. ^ Official Guide of the Airways, Chicago IL: Official Aviation Guide Company, 1946
  13. ^ Air Routing International
  14. ^ Wilkerson, Isabel (March 30, 1988). "Detroit Journal; Must Cemetery Yield to Airport?". The New York Times. Photo Credits: NYT/Peter Yates. New York: NYTC. Special to the New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  15. ^ "Detroit Will Spare Cemetery In an Airport Expansion Plan". The New York Times. New York: NYTC. Reuters. April 1, 1988. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  16. ^ McConnell, Darci; McWhirter, Cameron; Smith, Joel J. (March 20, 2002). "Mayor: Fix or shut Detroit City Airport: Kilpatrick wants $400 million for runway, terminal". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on May 9, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014.

External links[edit]