MBS International Airport

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MBS International Airport
MBS International Airport Logo.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerBay County, Michigan,
Midland, Michigan,
Saginaw, Michigan
ServesSaginaw, Michigan
Midland, Michigan
Bay City, Michigan
LocationFreeland, MI, United States
Elevation AMSL668 ft / 204 m
Coordinates43°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
MBS is located in Michigan
Location of airport in Michigan
MBS is located in the US
MBS (the US)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 8,002 2,439 Asphalt
14/32 6,400 1,951 Asphalt
Total enplanements (2013)120,689
Aircraft operations (2014)22,291
Based aircraft (2016)27

MBS International Airport (IATA: MBS, ICAO: KMBS, FAA LID: MBS), located in Freeland, Michigan, is a commercial and general aviation airport serving the nearby cities of Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw.[1] 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 non-hub primary commercial service facility.[3] It offers passenger service from affiliates of Delta Connection and United Express.

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:[1]

  • 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 26 per day: 45% general aviation, 10% air taxi, 40% scheduled commercial, and 5% police. In November 2016, there were 27 aircraft based at this airport: 8 single-engine, 5 multi-engine, 13 jet and 1 helicopter.[1]


Current Terminal boarding concourse

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

The current terminal on the north side of the air field opened on October 31, 2012. The 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) terminal, which replaced an older terminal on the west side of the air field, was designed by RS&H and cost $55 million.[4] The Airport Commission approved plans for the construction of the state-of-the-art passenger terminal in 2006, with construction beginning in 2008. Airport officials hope the terminal will bring more airlines and more competition to MBS.[5]

Air Force One landed at the airport two times during the 2004 United States Election for nearby rallies in support of George W. Bush (Air Force One also visited the airport in 1974 when then President Richard M. Nixon made a speech at the airport and arrived to give endorsement to James Sparling, a Congressional candidate).

Former Airline Service[edit]

Ticketing Area of the former terminal

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]

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]

SkyWest Airlines runs ground services for United Express, and all air service to Chicago is operated at-risk by SkyWest, whereas they set the schedules and receive all revenues for the flights instead of United.

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

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Delta Connection 1 Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
United Express 1 Chicago–O'Hare

1^ Operated by SkyWest Airlines

Top domestic destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from MBS (Oct 2016 – Sept 2017)[6]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Detroit, Michigan 69,380 Delta
2 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 32,990 United
3 Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota 11,000 Delta

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for MBS (Form 5010 PDF), effective Nov 10, 2016.
  2. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation. Measures of Michigan Air Carrier Demand Archived January 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., Michigan.gov, Retrieved January 24, 2014
  3. ^ "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). FAA.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  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 Archived May 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., The Bay City Times via MLive, December 26, 2007
  6. ^ City/Midland, MI: MBS International&carrier=FACTS "Saginaw/Bay City/Midland International (MBS) Summary Statistics" Check |url= value (help).
  7. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 7, 2009.
  8. ^ http://www.wnem.com/story/32096185/httpwwwwnemcomstory32095858families-veterans-honor-those-who-died-for-our-freedom

External links[edit]