Menominee, Mich. airport fails FAA safety inspection, license pulled

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MENOMINEE, Mich. (WBAY) - The Federal Aviation Administration takes away the license from the airport in Menominee, Michigan, after it failed a safety inspection.

This county-owned airport accepts state and federal funds to stay open, and therefore has to meet certain FAA standards.

But right now, it doesn't.

The airport was recently put on a temporary license after failing inspection. Trees the county is responsible for cutting are too high, which pilots complain sometimes scrapes their landing gear.

"Once those trees are trimmed, we will qualify for the minimum angle. But there are still critical obstructions. If you look out that way, there's brush and trees growing within the safety zone of the runway,” said Larry Schei, Menominee County Commissioner.

The county has 60 days to fix the problem before the temporary license runs out. In the meantime, it's business as usual.

So who’s using the airport? Well, according to Schei, it’s actually quite busy. Along with the many private pilots who use this airport every day, UPS and FED EX also use it, as do members of the NAVY, flying in to visit Marinette Marine. "Sometimes Governor Walker from Wisconsin will land here while he's visiting Marinette or Peshtigo. We have various representatives from all over the U.P.,” said Schei.

Action 2 News was on the tarmac when a private plane landed. Its pilot told us the airport wouldn't have lost its license if the county was doing a decent job managing the airport. "The airport is being mismanaged, we feel. And it starts with the airport manager. We don't understand how it's gotten this bad,” said Joseph Ciochetto.

Schei says the county is open to selling the airport, but no one has come forward with millions of dollars to buy it.