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Detroit Metro plans 10,000-foot runway

ROMULUS, Feb. 22, 2008 (AP): Detroit Metropolitan Airport officials are proposing the building of a new, 10,000-foot runway that would displace 3,500 people, 15 percent of its home city's residents.

The plan for a seventh runway also would force the closing of two elementary schools and 50 businesses in Romulus. The city of 24,000 is 15 miles southwest of Detroit.

The board that runs the nation's 11th-busiest airport say the runway is needed as part of its 20-year plan to handle a projected 2.3 percent annual increase in traffic. They say annual passengers will reach 60 million by 2027. It is about 36 million today.

But Romulus officials sharply criticized the plan, and the City Council is scheduled to consider a resolution opposing it.

``How many hits can we continue to absorb on behalf of the region and the airport? ... We don't have a choice, we have to get vocal,'' Romulus economic development director Tim Keyes told The Detroit News.

Officials say the expansion would take 1,700 acres and 815 residential properties.

A plan including the runway, as well as expansion of the McNamara and North terminals and the building of a passenger monorail off Interstate 94, could go to federal regulators this spring, the newspaper said.

Northwest Airlines Corp. is the airport's dominant carrier, which also has a hub in Memphis, Tenn. The Eagan, Minn.-based carrier is in merger talks with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc.

On the Net: Detroit Metropolitan Airport: http://www.metroairport.com; Romulus: http://www.romulusgov.com; Northwest Airlines Corp.: http://www.nwa.com; Delta Air Lines Inc.: http://www.delta.com
Information from: The Detroit News, http://www.detnews.com






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