More holiday-eve airport snarls? Maybe not at Detroit, Grand Rapids

Capital News Service
LANSING – Future travel plans will become more frustrating on the day before major holidays, the U.S. Travel Association warns, but airport officials in Detroit and Grand Rapids aren’t concerned. An association report predicts that in the next 15 years, more than half of the world’s largest airports will face that problem due to increases in travelers. The report said in the first half of 2013, enplanements increased 3 percent, more than in past years. Michael Conway, director of public affairs at Detroit Metro Airport, says there are fewer holiday-eve delays now. “The waits are reducing and the reason is because there are less aircraft in the sky,” Conway said.

Airports hit by lower federal, state aid

Capital News Service
LANSING – A slight drop in money from Washington and Lansing this year has reduced the ability of some Michigan airports to do maintenance and infrastructure projects. The state has 235 public use airports, a number that hasn’t changed for several years, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). For 2013, these airports will receive about $107.7 million in government funds, $82.2 million from the federal government and $14.4 million from the state. Jon Ogar of MDOT’s Aeronautics Bureau said federal funding has been declining a little, while state money has steadily dropped in recent years. “Generally, about 75 percent of funding is used for rehabilitating or maintaining current infrastructure, and the remainder is used for capacity enhancement,” Ogar said.