Airport not impacted much by ice, snow

ALPENA — A rash of freezing rain last week forced airport closures as well as flight cancellations and delays at some airports in northern Michigan last week. Alpena County Regional Airport, however, was not impacted much.

Airport Manager Steve Smigelski said there were only two flights canceled and that was due to Pellston Airport being closed for several days. He said two evening flights, which originate in Detroit, stop in Pellston and then come to Alpena, were canceled because of runway conditions. Smigelski said after the two flights were canceled Delta Airlines bypassed Pellston and had the planes fly directly to Alpena where the jet could stay overnight.

“The ice in Pellston was so heavy they couldn’t keep the airport open and it resulted in canceled flights. That airport was completely closed and it did cause us a couple lost flights,” Smigelski said.

Smigelski said the airport in Alpena could have had the same fate as Pellston, as well as Gaylord, which was closed for a day last week, but the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center helped to keep the runway clear.

“The military gave us a hand and used deicing fluid on the runways, which was a luxury Pellston and many other airports didn’t have,” Smigelski said. “That is very costly stuff and wouldn’t have been able to use it is it wasn’t for the military.”

According to Smigelski operations in Pellston are back to normal and the regular flight route is back to normal.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.