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Deadline Saturday for public input on Alpena Special Use Airspace

Chandler Cruttenden

The public comment period for the Alpena Special Use Airspace ends Saturday evening. Residents all across the sunrise side from Huron to Crawford Counties have raised concerns over the Michigan Air National Guard’s proposal.

The special air space would extend across nearly the entire northeast coast Michigan, stretching as far north as Rogers City and down to the Thumb.

The Michigan Air National Guard’s proposed plan would change where fighter jets can fly and how low they can be above the surface, among other provisions.

Cliff Stuehmer is a resident of Port Hope. He opposes the Air National Guard’s plan.

"My overriding concern is that the noise levels that will be generated by bringing air combat training down to 500 feet over our heads with a maximum ceiling of 6,000 feet," said Stuehmer in a phone call with WCMU.

Additionally, Stuehmer said he believes the sound levels would be so loud and disruptive that it would have a negative impact on the local economy and one of the biggest appeals of visiting the Thumb: peace and quiet.

"Recreational tourism in the Thumb area is a big factor in Port Austin, Caseville. All the businesses and to have those things come under disruption," said Stuehmer.

The Michigan Air National Guard’s Environmental Assessment says areas of Huron County could experience up to 12 flights a day in some areas along the Saginaw Bay region.

Andrew Layton of the Air National Guard told WCMU that the draft version of the Environmental Assessment will consider public comments and revisions are possible for the final version.

To offer public comment, please contact: National Guard Bureau; Attn: Ms. Kristi Kucharek; 3501 Fetchet Ave, Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762-5157, or email subject ATTN: ALPENA SUA EA.

For more information or questions, please contact the Michigan National Guard public affairs office:

Editor's note: This story originally reported Huron County would experience up to 4 flights a day. It's 12 flights per day, according the Environmental Assessment. A correction has been issued.

Rick Brewer has been news director at WCMU since February 2024.