Sawyer International Airport gives holiday travel update

The airport says its much busier this year than in 2020.
New sign outside Sawyer International Airport
New sign outside Sawyer International Airport(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 5:59 PM EST
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K.I. SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC) - Sawyer International Airport is the busiest it has been in the past two years.

Since October, the airport has seen over 350 people come through its doors every day. Last holiday season, less than half this number traveled through. “For 2021 compared to 2020, we’re up to over 100% at a 120% increase, and then comparing it to 2019, we’re actually up a few hundred passengers,” Murray says.

Every day, Sawyer International Airport runs flights to and from Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Since it is a smaller airport, Assistant Airport Manager Megan Murray says some people think they can show up last minute and still catch their plane. “A big misconception is you can come pretty quickly before your flight for a departure, but it is recommended to come an hour and a half before to two hours before departure,” Murray says.

This is especially true during the holiday season, during which traffic is usually greater than at other times of the year. Murray adds that showing up early for your flight makes it easier for shorthanded TSA staff to get you through security. “We do encourage the public to have patience with the airport, airline, and TSA employees as they’re under a little bit more stress with the staffing shortages, but are still handling things very well,” Murray says.

The airport is taking extra precautions to help it stay open in wintry conditions. “We are in the first few years of using a liquid de-icing agent on the runway,” Murray notes. “We use that in combination with sand.”

Federal law mandates masks at airports and on planes. Expect to wear one at Sawyer International and on any of your flights this holiday season.

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