Sawyer International Airport waits on decision of being a possible space launch site


MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturing Association will announce their decision on Tuesday, January 28 on where a potential spaceport launch site will be.

Two of the possibilities are in the U.P. One is Sawyer International Airport and the other is Chippewa County Airport. Sawyer International has been preparing for this since they were one of the five possible sites chosen this past summer.

“What the whole process was to put together a proposal to provide both vertical and horizontal locations within the state of Michigan,” said Duane DuRay, Sawyer International Airport Manager. “That process has gone through several steps. Marquette County has taken a very active role pursuing this. We’ve collected a team of organizations to put together the best proposal that we possibly can.”

DuRay says they hope to be named the horizontal launch location on January 28th and collaborate with Chippewa County which is also a possible launching site.

“There is also still the vertical launch,” said DuRay. “Marquette has been working closely with several other agencies and we just recently signed a cooperative agreement between Chippewa County and Marquette County to go at this jointly.”

If Sawyer International is chosen for this, DuRay says it would be huge for Marquette County’s economy.

“The economic spin-off of this could affect several aspects of our economy,” said DuRay. “High tech industries, tourism, travel, the real estate market. There is several aspects that could have a positive impact.”

DuRay says that if Saywer International is chosen as the horizontal launch site on the 28th, the overall process will still be awhile between different evaluations and permits.

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