Aerial shot of Silver Bay

FAA comes to Minnesota Wednesday to discuss future of closed airport

MinDOT determined runway at Silver Bay airport is unsafe

June 12, 2018 - 6:44 am

Federal Aviation Administration officials are in northeastern Minnesota on Wednesday to determine the future of a small airport that's now closed for safety concerns.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed the Wayne Johnson Silver Bay Municipal Airport on May 31 following a routine inspection.

The airport first became operational in 1965. Five of its 11 hangars are occupied.

MinDOT's Office of Aeronautics determined the airport runway pavement had deteriorated enough to create a safety hazard. 

Pilots who want to visit the area are advised to avoid Silver Bay. The closest airport is in Two Harbors, which is 20 miles to the southwest on Lake Superior's north shore.

MnDOT and city leaders plan to talk about the airport's future during the Wednesday afternoon meeting.

Silver Bay mayor Scott Johnson has been reported to say in the past that the city council has long been in favor of closing the airport because of increasing FAA mandates and a lack of local interest, among other reasons.