ROGERS CITY - The hum of aircraft will fill the sky over Rogers City on Sept. 20 as the Michigan Air Tour makes a stop at the Presque Isle County Airport.
Thirty-two planes carrying 65 people will fly into town at 9 a.m. in an effort to educate the community about the importance of its airport, tour Director Philip Seizinger said. Participants will tour Rogers City to see what it has to offer, and put their planes on display for everyone to see. It's one of four airports the tour will visit, including their departure from Tuscola Area Airport near Caro.
"Airports actually contribute money to the local economy through paying of taxes. They create jobs, either direct or indirect, and a lot of airports are really focused on tourism," he said.
The Michigan Air Tour, organized by the Michigan Aviation Association, crosses the state each year, and has since 1929, Seizinger said. This year, they'll stop at Sawyer International Airport outside of Marquette and Greenville Municipal Airport, northeast of Grand Rapids. For the first time, the majority of the planes will come from Canada.
At 10 a.m. on Sept. 20, the touring group will give a presentation about how much of an economic impact the airport has on the community, Seizinger said. The public is welcome to see the planes, as well as hear about the hundreds of thousands of dollars the airport brings in to the region.
Afterward, the group will tour the city, complete with a bonfire at North Shore Park and a stay at the Driftwood Motel, according to the itinerary. They'll get a taste of what the city has to offer and talk to locals while they're at it, Seizinger said, and depart the next day at 9 a.m.
The Michigan Air Tour goes across the state, choosing from 235 airports each year, Seizinger said. Much of the decision is based on how long it has been since the tour came to a certain town.
Airport Manager Mike Jermeay said the tour last visited in 2003, right after the county unveiled PZQ's extended runway and new lighting. Now, the airport offers 100-octane aviation fuel and is starting to sell quite a bit.
Having the Michigan Air Tour come to town is going to be a huge boost for the community, Jermeay said. It'll also give locals a better idea of just what it means to have a 4,500-foot, lighted public runway in their back yards.
"It's wonderful, especially to see (32) aircraft on the field is going to be really neat," he said.
A few local businesses and organizations have stepped up to make the tour group's stay a better one, including the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce, Jermeay said
The Presque Isle County Airport sees regular use, in part by a few area residents who fly in from out of state to reach their summer residences, Jermeay said.
"It's always nice to expose the airport to the community," he said. "This is what an airport can do for the community."
For more information about the Michigan Air Tour, check out its website: s127415377.onlinehome.us