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      Sawyer International runway shortened

      The runway at Sawyer International Airport is about to be more than 3,000 feet shorter. Recently the Marquette County Board took the recommendation of airport staff and voted to shorten the runway. The previous total length was more than 12,000 feet; it will now be down to 9,000. The FAA first announced that it wouldn't fund the maintenance of the full length of runway in 2011.

      "The way the FAA had presented it is, they said that you can keep the 12,336 feet of runway, but you have to maintain it completely with your funds, your local funds. So yes, it is going to save us a substantial amount of money," said Sawyer International Airport Manager Duane DuRay.

      DuRay also said that the section of runway that is being eliminated is in need of repairs. He adds that commercial flights will not be affected and that the remaining 9,000 feet of runway is sufficient.