City Engineering Department

2800 Airport Rd. Midland, MI 48642  Phone:989-835-3231  Email:

Jack Barstow Municipal Airport

Jack Barstow Municipal Airport is a general aviation airport located in the northwest area of Midland adjacent to the Midland County Fairgrounds and the City Forest. The airport's airfield encompasses over 500 acres and serves the needs of 65 based pilots, many of whom fly for recreation and business.

The airport has two runways to accommodate various wind conditions in flight and various sizes of small aircraft. The airport handles about 20,000 operations (take-offs and landings) each year, and approximately 40 aircraft hangars can be found on site.

A 2,100-square-foot terminal building that opened in summer 2005 is centrally located within the airfield at the end of Barstow Drive. Pilots and visitors alike can enjoy the use of the new terminal building, which includes a pilot's lounge for tired travelers, a conference room for meetings, and an aviation weather service to assist pilots with flight planning.

Quick Facts about the Airport

Leasing Hangar Space: Call 989-835-3231 to review available hangar locations and building sites at the airport.

How It's Funded:  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and State of Michigan provides the majority of funding for capitol improvements at the airport.  On typical projects, the City of Midland's share is only 2.5 percent of the total cost.  Proceeds from aircraft hangar rental and land lease rentals also help fund operations, and aircraft fuel sales make up a small amount of revenue.

Flying Lessons: Contact the airport at 989-835-3231.

Aviation Advisory Commission: The Aviation Advisory Commission advises the Midland City Council on user charges and other aviation costs affecting the use and development of the airport. The commission also advises the City Council on airport development plans including runways, hangars, building construction and other improvements. On-Demand Video of Aviation Advisory Commission meetings can be accessed using the link at left.

Aviation Camp: Each summer, teens have the chance to learn about the wonderful world of flying through the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Aviation Camp at Barstow Airport. This five-day day camp is open to teens entering 10th-12th grades in the fall, and offers a variety of information on aviation history, occupations in aviation, airports, aircraft, aeronautics, weather, and much more.

Local aircraft builders invite campers to their hangars to view the variety of unique airplanes based at Barstow Airport. The students also visit MBS International Airport to get a first-hand look at the control tower, fire barn, and corporate hangars. Campers get lots of hands-on experience including planning a cross-country flight.

Classes are held at the Ormond Barstow Educational Center at Barstow Airport. Classes are taught by volunteer pilots, flight instructors, and special speakers from a variety of aviation fields who introduce young people to the aviation/aerospace world.

For more information, visit, e-mail, or call 989-615-1103.

Automated Weather Observation System: Operational as of April 2009, AWOS has put Midland on the National Weather Service map. This data-gathering system allows pilots to get up-to-the-minute data about the weather in mid-Michigan, and helps ensure safe takeoffs and landings. The new system gauges information such as wind speeds and direction, temperatures, and even rainfall in the area. The system is certified through the Federal Aviation Administration.

To view this system on the worldwide web, click here:  AWOS.

More Information:  For additional information about Aviation Airport Commission-related items or any other airport-related questions, contact City Engineer Brian McManus ( in the Engineering Department at 989-837-3348.

A Look Back at the Airport's History

The Jack Barstow Municipal Airport has a rich history in Midland. It was named for John “Jack” Barstow, a Midland-based pilot who learned about aviation from Orville Wright and taught friend Charles Lindberg some helpful techniques for flying gliders.

Tragically, Mr. Barstow (at right, in early 1930s) died in a plane crash in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1935 at the young age of 29. To pay tribute to Mr. Barstow’s many contributions to aviation in mid-Michigan, the former Midland Airport was renamed Jack Barstow Municipal Airport shortly following his death.

Today, Jack Barstow’s spirit of exploration and innovation continues at Barstow Airport. A local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is located at Barstow. The EAA is committed to aviation education, preservation and research. Through the EAA Midland chapter, the Young Eagles program and aviation camps are held annually at the airport to educate youth.

In addition, many Barstow-based pilots are actively involved in the Wings of Mercy program. Through this relatively new program, air transportation is given free of charge to those who need specialized medical care, but cannot afford trips to far-off medical institutions. Since 1996 - when the Wings of Mercy Eastern Michigan chapter was formed - nearly 700 missions have been flown from the tri cities alone. While charitable contributions are accepted and available to cover the fuel for these trips, many pilots fund the trips out of their own pockets.