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Pellston Regional Airport

Pellston Regional Airport
of Emmet County
Airport type Public
Owner Emmet County
Operator The City of Pellston
Serves Pellston, Michigan
Elevation AMSL 720 ft / 219 m
PLN is located in Michigan
Location of airport in Michigan
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14/32 6,513 1,985 Asphalt
5/23 5,401 1,646 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Total passengers 48,661 7%
Total enplanements 24,473 8%
Aircraft operations 10,326
Based aircraft 37

Pellston Regional Airport (ICAO: KPLNFAA LID: PLN), also known as Pellston Regional Airport of Emmet County, is a public airport located one mile (2 km) northwest of the central business district of Pellston, a village in Emmet County, Michigan, United States.[2]

Mainly a general aviation airport, Pellston Regional Airport also functions as the primary commercial airport for the sparsely populated northern tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, owing to its location halfway between the region's primary cities, Petoskey and Cheboygan, as well as its close proximity to the tourist centers of Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. One commercial airline, SkyWest, (DBA) Doing Business As Delta Connection currently serves Pellston Regional with two departures and two arrivals daily.

The 35,000 square feet (3,252 m2) northern lodge themed passenger terminal building was constructed in 2003 and designed by architect Paul W. Powers. The new passenger terminal building replaced a smaller terminal building that was demolished. Wireless internet service is available throughout the terminal at no charge to travelers.


  • Facilities and aircraft 1
  • Airlines and destinations 2
    • Statistics 2.1
  • Terminal 3
  • Incidents 4
  • References 5
    • Other sources 5.1
  • External links 6

Facilities and aircraft


Pellston Regional Airport covers an area of 1,675 acres (678 ha) and contains two asphalt paved runways: 14/32 measures 6,513 x 150 feet (1,985 x 46 m) and 5/23 is 5,401 x 150 feet (1,646 x 46 m).[2]

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2012, the airport had 10,326 aircraft operations (down from 16,421 in 2006), an average of 28 per day: 74% general aviation, 25% scheduled commercial, and <1% military. At that time 37 aircraft were based at this airport: 86% single engine, 8% multi-engine, 3% jet aircraft, and 3% helicopter.[2]

Airlines and destinations

The following airline offers scheduled passenger service:

Airlines Destinations
Delta Air Lines Seasonal: Detroit
Delta Connection Detroit
North Country Sky
Operated by Corporate Flight Management
Seasonal: Chicago-Midway1 [4]
1Flight stops at Manistee County Blacker Airport to and from Chicago.

In May 2013 Lakeshore Express Aviation announced regular flights from Pellston to Oakland County International Airport on 30-seat Saab 340B aircraft beginning in June.[5] Lakeshore Express flights are currently suspended as operator Pentastar Aviation elected to cease operating the flights in 2014.[6]


Carrier shares: (Aug 2014 - Jul 2015)[7]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Top domestic destinations: (Aug 2014- Jul 2015)[7]
Rank Airport Passengers Airline
1 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) 26,000 Delta

FedEx Feeder is operated at the field by CSA Air.


The current terminal serves as baggage claim, check-in, ticketing, TSA checkpoint, and gates. Due to this airport being very small in size and amounts of flights, only 2 gates are necessary and both are located in the terminal. In 2009 travel services and offices have been put at the end of baggage claim. On a normal day, three or four people operate this airport. One airline representative manages check-in, ticketing, and works as the gate agent. One is a TSA Senior Agent. The others are ground crew and baggage services. Delta/SkyWest currently has two aircraft in use, both are (50) seat Canadair Regional Jets 100/200 series (CRJ-200).


  • On January 15, 2013, a Cessna 208B Cargomaster, operated by Martinaire and registered as N1120N, crashed shortly after takeoff from Pellston Regional Airport. It came down in a wooded area, there was one fatality.[8]
  • On May 13, 1978, a brand new Piper Cheyenne with less than twenty hours had a CFIT two miles from the departure end of Runway 32 after failing to land at Boyne Falls airport. The NTSB investigation concluded the pilot attempted to land below published minimums for the ILS approach. The weather was extremely foggy at the time with less than 3/8 of a mile visibility and 200' ceiling while the approach called for a 600' ceiling and 2 miles visibility. A contributing factor was the finding that the middle marker for Runway 32 was not functioning at the time, possibly contributing to the disorientation of the pilot and his location relative to the airfield. The aircraft was destroyed, there were three fatalities.
  • On May 9, 1970, UAW President Walter Reuther, his wife May, architect Oscar Stonorov, Reuther's bodyguard William Wolfman, the pilot and co-pilot were killed when their chartered Lear-Jet crashed in flames at 9:33 p.m. Michigan time. The plane, arriving from Detroit in rain and fog, was on final approach to the Pellston, Michigan, airstrip near the union's recreational and educational facility at Black Lake, Michigan.[9] The Learjet 23, operated by Executive Jet Aviation and registered as N434EJ, crashed into trees and caught fire short of the runway. An investigation concluded that illusions produced by the lack of visual cues during a circling approach over unlighted terrain at night to a runway not equipped with approach lights or other visual approach aids, caused the crash. The aircraft was written off. There were six fatalities.[8]
  • On April 23, 1970, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, operated by North Central Airlines, destined for Sault Ste. Marie Airport, was hijacked. One hijacker demanded to be taken to Detroit. The hijacker was taken down, there were no fatalities.[8]


  1. ^ Passenger Boarding
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for PLN (Form 5010 PDF), effective November 15, 2012
  3. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation. Measures of Michigan Air Carrier Demand,, Retrieved January 7, 2013
  4. ^ Bentley, Ryan. New operator plans flights between Chicago, Pellston starting this summer, Gaylord Herald Times, April 15, 2015, Retrieved 2015-04-17
  5. ^ Creager, Ellen (May 29, 2013). "Michigan Traveler: Fly to Pellston on new, low-cost service". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ Creager, Ellen (April 13, 2014). "Travel smart: Little airline that could now can't". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Pellston, MI: Pellston Regional Airport of Emmet County (PLN)".  
  8. ^ a b c "Accident Description 20130115-0". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Reuther Dies in Jet Crash With Wife and 4 Others".  

Other sources

  • Essential Air Service documents (Docket DOT-OST-2011-0133) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
    • Ninety-Day Notice (July 15, 2011): Mesaba Aviation, Inc., and Pinnacle Airlines, Inc., each a certificated carrier, hereby give notice of intent to discontinue the current service provided at Pellston, MI, effective October 13, 2011. Mesaba and/or Pinnacle provide service to the community, operating on a fee-for-service basis as “Delta Connection” carriers. Delta has notified Mesaba and Pinnacle that Delta can no longer economically continue this service. Delta is in the process of retiring all turboprop and numerous small jet aircraft operated by Mesaba and Pinnacle. All of the Saab 340 aircraft operated by Mesaba for Delta Connection will be retired by year end. Delta has notified Mesaba and Pinnacle that high fuel costs and low passenger demand further necessitate the filing of this notice. We intend to submit a bid to provide continued service under the EAS program at subsidy rates that will enable us to cover the cost of the operation and a reasonable return on investment.
    • Order 2012-4-10 (April 6, 2012): selecting Delta Air Lines, Inc., to provide essential air service (EAS) at Chisholm/Hibbing, Minnesota, and Escanaba, Pellston, and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, for $2,517,770, $2,833,558, $1,055,361, and $1,676,136, respectively. At Pellston, the service is to consist of 12 nonstop round trips per week to Detroit in the off-peak, and 14 per week in the peak period. At Sault Ste. Marie, the service will be 13 round trips per week year round. At the remaining two communities, service is to consist of 12 nonstop round trips per week year round. All service is to be operated with 50-seat CRJ-200 aircraft.
    • Order 2013-10-8 (October 21, 2013): reselecting Delta Air Lines, Inc., to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) at Pellston and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; and SkyWest Airlines, at Paducah, Kentucky; Hancock/Houghton, and Muskegon, Michigan; and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The Order also tentatively reselects American Airlines, at Watertown, New York. Pellston, Michigan: Docket 2011-0133; Effective Period: November 1, 2013, through January 31, 2016; Service: Off peak: Twelve (12) nonstop round trips per week to Detroit (DTW); Peak: Fourteen (14) nonstop round trips per week to Detroit (DTW) with CRJ-200 Aircraft; Annual Subsidy: $1,077,413.

External links

  • Official website
  • Lakeshore Express Aviation
  • FAA Terminal Procedures for PLN, effective June 23, 2016
  • Resources for this airport:
    • FAA airport information for PLN
    • AirNav airport information for KPLN
    • ASN accident history for PLN
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart, Terminal Procedures

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