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Willow Run Airport (YIP)
Airport type Public
Operator Wayne County Airport Authority
Location Van Buren Charter Township and Ypsilanti Township
Elevation AMSL 716 ft / 218 m
Coordinates 42°14′16.539″N 83°31′49.472″W / 42.2379275°N 83.53040889°W / 42.2379275; -83.53040889Coordinates: 42°14′16.539″N 83°31′49.472″W / 42.2379275°N 83.53040889°W / 42.2379275; -83.53040889
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5L/23R 6,653 2,028 Paved
5R/23L 7,526 2,294 Paved
9/27 7,293 2,223 Paved
14/32 6,912 2,107 Paved

Willow Run Airport (IATA: YIPICAO: KYIP) is an airport located in Van Buren Charter Township and in Ypsilanti Township,[1][2] near Ypsilanti, Michigan, that serves freight, corporate, and general aviation clients. No commercial passenger services are available at the airport. The airport has four runways (the fifth runway, 9R/27L, was recently closed and redesginated taxiway H), a continuously staffed FAA control tower, and US Customs operations. Willow Run Airport is one of two facilities operated by Wayne County Airport Authority, the other being Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, which replaced Willow Run as the major commercial airport for the region in the late 1960s. Major worldwide cargo airlines Kalitta Air and National Airlines are based at Willow Run Airport.



Willow Run Airport was built during World War II along with the Willow Run plant, where the Ford Motor Company produced B-24 bombers for the US Government. Bomber production ceased at the plant after the war, and it was converted into a passenger terminal. Commercial passenger traffic was moved from Detroit City Airport, making Willow Run Detroit's primary airport.

In 1946 Warren Avis founded Avis Airlines Rent a Car Systems at Willow Run Airport. It was the first rental car operation at an airport location.

The Federal Government sold the airport to the University of Michigan in 1947 for $1.00. Terms of the sale required that the university operate the airport as a research facility, and the Michigan Aeronautical Research Center (later renamed Willow Run Research Center) was founded. For a time, the university housed part of its student population in the apartments previously used by plant workers.

In 1956, there were seven commercial passenger carriers operating out of Willow Run. Commercial service began to shift to the nearby Detroit Metro Airport during the late 1950s, and by 1967 it had ceased altogether.

In 1977, the University of Michigan sold the airport to Wayne County for $1.00.

Yankee Warrior, a fully operational B-25 Mitchell, is operated by the Yankee Air Museum.

The Yankee Air Museum opened on the airport grounds in 1981. A fire in October 2004 destroyed the museums building and most of its artifacts. The static display aircraft like the B-52 and other aircraft that were too large to be on display inside the hangar were undamaged. In 2005 the museum moved to the other side of the airport where they are rebuilding their displays and gathering more WWII memorabilia.

See also


  1. ^ "Township Map." Ypsilanti Township. Retrieved on June 22, 2009.
  2. ^ "Van Buren township, Wayne county, Michigan." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 28, 2009.

External links



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