The state of Michigan, nestled in the heart of the American Midwest, is a bustling hub of commerce, culture, and natural beauty. It’s a state known for its Great Lakes, automotive industry, and vibrant cities. As an integral part of its infrastructure, Michigan boasts a network of airports facilitating domestic and international travel.
1. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
- 4,850 acres
- 28.2 million passengers in 2022
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, commonly known as DTW, has a rich history dating back to the 1920s. Originally named Wayne County Airport, it was one of the first airports in the United States. Its construction was completed in 1929, and the first flight landed a year later, in 1930. Over the years, it has undergone significant expansions and modernizations, becoming a major hub for domestic and international travel.
DTW consistently ranks as the busiest airport in Michigan. It is also the 20th busiest in the United States. In 2019, it served over 36 million passengers. DTW is a major hub for several airlines, including Delta Air Lines, which has a significant presence here. 12 other passenger airlines operate in the airport, providing travelers with a wide range of options.
With all these airlines, 800 flights take off from this airport daily. They fly to 120 nonstop destinations on three continents, making it convenient for domestic and international travelers.
- Hub Connectivity: DTW’s status as a significant hub airport provides travelers with various flight options, including numerous connections to other cities.
- International Access: It offers numerous international flights, making it convenient for travelers with international destinations.
- Modern Facilities: The airport boasts modern facilities, including multiple terminals with shopping and dining options.
- Crowds: Due to its popularity and high passenger traffic, DTW can get crowded, leading to longer wait times during peak hours.
- Traffic Congestion: The airport is located near Detroit, which can experience traffic congestion, potentially affecting travelers trying to reach the airport.
2. Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)
- 3,127 acres
- 3.5 million passengers in 2022
Gerald R. Ford International Airport, located in Grand Rapids, has a history dating back to the 1920s. The construction started in 1919, and the first airline service happened seven years later in 1926. It was initially a simple airfield and has since evolved into a modern, bustling airport. It is the second-busiest airport in Michigan by traffic.
GRR is a focus airport for certain airlines and has six major carriers. These include Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, providing various options for travelers.
GRR is a domestic airport only, with flights to 31 major U.S. cities, making it a convenient choice for regional travelers.
- Regional Convenience: GRR provides a convenient option for travelers in western Michigan, reducing the need to commute to larger airports.
- Ease of Access: Its location in Grand Rapids offers easy access with less traffic congestion compared to larger urban airports.
- Modern Amenities: The airport has undergone renovations, offering modern amenities, including shopping and dining options.
- Limited International Flights: GRR primarily serves domestic routes, so travelers with international destinations may need to connect through other airports.
- Smaller Scale: While convenient for regional travelers, it may not have the same level of services and international connections as larger airports
3. Capital Region International Airport (LAN)
- 2,160 acres
- 352,000 passengers in 2022
Capital Region International Airport, located in Lansing, opened in 1926. It has evolved over the years to serve the capital region of Michigan. LAN is the third largest airport in Michigan by acres, but it is the fourth-busiest by traffic.
LAN is served by three airlines: American Airlines, Avelo Airlines, and Delta Airlines. They fly to four domestic destinations.
LAN is usually a domestic-only airport, but it also offers seasonal flights. In 2024, from late January to early April, Avelo will fly three nonstop routes to international destinations: Cancun in Mexico, Montego Bay in Jamaica, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
While it primarily serves domestic routes, LAN provides convenient access to several major U.S. cities, catering to travelers in the Lansing area.
- Regional Convenience: LAN offers a convenient option for travelers in Lansing and surrounding regions, reducing the need for longer drives to larger airports.
- Efficiency: Smaller airports like LAN often provide quicker check-in and security processes, leading to more efficient travel experiences.
- Less Crowded: LAN’s smaller size can mean less congestion and shorter lines than larger airports.
- Limited International Flights: LAN primarily focuses on domestic routes, so travelers with international destinations may need to connect through other airports.
- Limited Amenities: Smaller airports like LAN have fewer shopping and dining options than more significant hubs.
4. Bishop International Airport (FNT)
- 1,550 acres
- 600,000 passengers in 2022
Bishop International Airport, located in Flint, has a history dating back to the late 1920s. The Arthur Giles Bishop family donated 220 acres to the City of Flint for aeronautical purposes in 1928. FNT is still on the same property today.
It was initially known as Bishop Airport and has since grown to become a regional airport serving travelers in the Flint area. It is the third busiest airport in Michigan by traffic.
FNT is served by three major airlines, including Allegiant Air, American Airlines, and United Airlines, offering a variety of domestic destinations.
While exclusively serving domestic routes, FNT provides convenient access to 11 destinations in the United States.
- Regional Accessibility: FNT offers a convenient choice for residents of the surrounding areas, reducing the need for lengthy commutes.
- Efficiency: Smaller airports often provide quicker check-in and security, allowing smoother travel experiences.
- Parking: Parking options at FNT are generally more affordable and accessible than larger airports.
- Limited International Flights: FNT only caters to domestic destinations, so those with international destinations may need to connect through other airports.
- Smaller Facilities: While efficient, FNT lacks extensive amenities and services at larger airports.
Summary of The 4 Largest Airports in Michigan
|Rank||Airport Name||Acres||Passengers by Year||No. of Airlines|
|1||Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)||4,850||28.2 million||13|
|2||Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)||3,127||3.5 million||6|
|3||Capital Region International Airport (LAN)||2,160||352,000||3|
|4||Bishop International Airport (FNT)||1,550||600,000||3|
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