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This week in Michigan History – Willow Run Airport ceases Passenger Flights

June 27, 2012

Willow Run Airport stopped all commercial passenger service on June 24, 1966.  The last flight was a United Airlines Mainliner heading to Chicago.  All the major and regional air carriers had relocated to what is now called Detroit Metro Airport, starting in 1958 when American Airlines transferred its flights from Willow Run to the new Romulus airport.

By 1965, DTW already had taken the lead.  An estimated 582,000 passengers passed through Willow Run, compared with close to 1.2 million at Detroit Metro.  In the six months after commercial travel at Willow Run stopped, the airport saw approximately 61,000 takeoffs and landings, compared with more than 71,000 during the same period in 1965.

Commercial service started at Willow Run in 1946.  Before that, it had been used to build B24 Liberator bombers duringWorld War II.  Previous owners included the federal government, Kaiser-Frazer, General Motors and the University of Michigan.  According to its website, Willow Run is now among the largest cargo airport in the U.S.

Article taken from Detroit News – Sunday, June 24, 2012

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