Custer Airport

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Custer Airport
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Monroe
OperatorCleveland ARTCC
ServesMonroe, Michigan
Location2800 North Custer Road
Monroe, Michigan 48162
Elevation AMSL616 ft / 188 m
Coordinates41°55′58.8″N 83°26′9.6″W / 41.933000°N 83.436000°W / 41.933000; -83.436000Coordinates: 41°55′58.8″N 83°26′9.6″W / 41.933000°N 83.436000°W / 41.933000; -83.436000
TTF is located in Michigan
Location of airport in Michigan
TTF is located in the United States
TTF (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3L/21R 4,997 1,523 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Aircraft operations13,068
Based aircraft37

Custer Airport (ICAO: KTTF, FAA LID: TTF), sometimes referred to as Monroe Custer Airport, is a city-owned public airport located in the city of Monroe in Monroe County, Michigan. The airport opened in November 1946[1] and was named for George Armstrong Custer, who spent much of his early life in Monroe. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a local general aviation facility.[2]

Custer Airport is owned by the city of Monroe and is financially supported through hangar rentals, landing fees, and fuel sales. It is located on North Custer Road (formerly designated as M-130) about two miles (3.2 km) northwest of Monroe's downtown area. The airport property itself—occupying 158 acres (64 hectares)—is an exclave of the city limits and is separated by a one-quarter mile (0.4 km) wide undeveloped residential area belonging to Frenchtown Charter Township. Since the city owns the airport, the area it occupies was incorporated into the city limits. Munson Park, the largest public recreation park in Monroe, occupies the land immediately east of the airport. The River Raisin is just south of the airport, and farmland surrounds the airport to the west and north.


Light beacon, hangar, and tarmac
Tarmac and hangar/terminal

The airport has one 4,997 by 100 feet (1,523 by 30 metres) asphalt runway (3-21) with a full length taxiway. Both are illuminated with high intensity lighting, runway 21 has runway end identifiers (REILS) and both runways have visual approach slope indicators (VASI). The airport has no regularly scheduled flights or arrivals. As a general aviation airport, it is mainly used by private pilots for personal and business use, as well as a variety of chartered aircraft bringing people in to do business in Monroe County. Custer Airport is able to accommodate a large variety of aircraft, including single engine aircraft, twin engine aircraft, and business jets such as the Cessna Citation and Learjet. The airport has personal hangars that house approximately 45 airplanes and a large hangar that houses several corporate aircraft as well as the Monroe Aviation School of Flight and Monroe Aviation Aircraft Maintenance.[3] In addition, a Michigan Civil Air Patrol aircraft is stationed at the airport. The Monroe County Sheriff Department maintains hangars for its helicopter operations. The airport has 100LL fuel available 24 hours through self-serve as well as full-service Jet-A fuel. In 2007, there was an average of 65 flights per day for a yearly total of 11,389.[1]

The airport operates continuously and is staffed from 8:00 AM–5:00 PM with after-hours services available through prior arrangement. Custer Airport has no control tower, and instrument traffic is handled by the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZOB) in coordination with the Detroit Approach and Departure Control.[4] The nearest neighboring airports that can accommodate flights from Custer Airport are Lenawee County Airport to the west, Toledo Suburban Airport to the southwest, and Grosse Ile Municipal Airport to the north. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Toledo Express Airport are within close proximity and are used regularly by pilots departing Monroe for both business and training purposes.

Security concerns[edit]

Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, local concerns were raised that Custer Airport could be shut down by government intervention because of the airport's close proximity to a nuclear power plant. Custer Airport is located approximately 9.5 miles (15.3 km) from the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station in neighboring Frenchtown Charter Township. It was proposed that airports within 10 miles (16 km) of a nuclear power plant be shut down until tighter security policies and government mandates could be enacted by both the airports and nuclear power plants. Custer Airport was ultimately not affected and experienced no changes in security procedures or operations, because security was deemed more than adequate at the small airport.[5]


  • At around 3:45 in the afternoon of March 29, 2011, a Piper Malibu airplane carrying three male passengers crashed into a soccer field in neighboring Munson Park. The plane departed from Toledo Suburban Airport (located about 15 miles south of Custer Airport in Whiteford Township) earlier that morning and traveled about 300 miles (480 km) southeast to Bedford County Airport in Pennsylvania. The plane soon departed back to Michigan to land at Custer Airport. However, as it approached the airport, witnesses, primarily the St. Mary Catholic Central High School tennis team practicing in the courts 100 yards (91 meters) from the crash site, say the plane circled low and was encountering problems. The plane exploded upon impact with the ground. All three passengers were killed. Subsequent investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The plane was configured with landing gear and flaps retracted. Toxicology performed on the pilot showed the presence of hydrocodone and dihydrocodeine. The NTSB concluded that the accident was probably caused by the pilot showing poor judgement by attempting a high-speed pass several feet over the runway and subsequently failing to maintain clearance from the runway.[6][7][8][9]


  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for TTF (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2009-05-07.
  2. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  3. ^ Monroe Aviation. "Monroe Aviation School of Flight". Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  4. ^ (7 May 2009). "FAA Information: Custer Airport (KTTF)". Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  5. ^ Stroller, Gary (10 June 2003). "Nuclear plants near airports may be at risk". USA Today. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  6. ^ "National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Final Report CEN11FA253". 10 June 2013. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  7. ^ Yahoo! News (29 March 2011). "Small plane crash in Southeast Michigan kills three". Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  8. ^ WorldNow and WTOL (29 March 2011). "Three people dead after plane crash in Monroe, MI". Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  9. ^ (29 March 2011). "3 Killed When Plane Crashes In Monroe Park". Retrieved March 29, 2011.

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