St. Clair County International Airport (SCCIA) – Port Huron, Michigan

January 2, 2024
St. Clair County International Airport (SCCIA) - Port Huron, Michigan

St. Clair County International Airport

St. Clair County International Airport: The Regional Pillar in the Sky


Exceptional Air Service Connecting Communities in Port Huron and Beyond

In the realm of aviation, the size of an airport will always come second to the quality of its services. What matters most to the surrounding communities is connectivity.

Is this place an impactful hub that can adequately facilitate the traveling motions of the businesses, families, and products flying in and out?

An airport’s ascent into that kind of bustling entity is a journey laden with both challenges and opportunities. The twin goals of expanding traffic and deepening community integration require strategic foresight and careful navigation.

The methods needed to proceed towards those goals are multifaceted, ranging from infrastructural modification to fostering economic symbiosis with the local community and ecosystem.

To secure success, an airport must balance the need for modernization with the imperative of becoming an indispensable asset. Settled right within the diverse terrain of Michigan, there exists a prime example of an institution that is skillfully progressing through its journey.

St. Clair County International Airport (SCCIA) - Port Huron, MichiganFor the past 73 years, The St. Clair County International Airport, located in Port Huron, MI, has been navigating the skies of growing demand while honoring a commitment to environmental consciousness and sustainability.

Through a delicate dance of infrastructure upgrades, resourceful air traffic management, and the cultivation of synergistic relationships, St. Clair is shaping to be the next regional cornerstone of Michigan aviation. It is laying itself a foundation as a catalyst for economic development and a source of pride for its community.

The Historic Core of the Region

St. Clair County International Airport has been in service since the 1940s. It originally served military aircraft and, around 1951, moved to largely serving private and business aircraft.

For several years, the airport provided commercial flight operations via North Central Airlines to Sandusky and Detroit City, but it has since then halted its outbound flights. However, St. Clair still possesses the infrastructure to receive smaller commercial inbound flights.

The airport still maintains a high level of traffic despite mostly detaching from its outbound commercial operations. “We see a lot of aircraft. GA, flight training, charter and corporate operations come across the border, get clearance, and then continue to their final destinations,” says Airport Director Catherine (Catie) Fiore.

Additionally, Port Huron possesses two Ports of Entry, one at the St. Clair Airport and the other just a 15-minute drive away at the nearby Blue Water Bridge. As a result, the airport’s traffic features a richly diverse lineup of contributors. In fact, a main feature of Port Huron is the close collaboration between its varying traffic sources.

“It’s not just air, it’s not just boat, nor is it just rail, it’s all of us,” Fiore explains, referring to how the St. Clair’s collaborative dynamic with other traffic sources affects the type of flights that flow in and out–whether that be business, military, or private aircraft.

Regarding military and federal traffic, St. Clair often receives both airplanes and helicopters from several notable organizations like the Coast Guard, Air National Guard, Customs, and the Marines.

Private and business aircraft tend to traffic both inbound and outbound, and due to its convenient location, several prominent businesses and names utilize St. Clair’s services.

Industrial giant Magna International has a facility located in Port Huron, so it often frequents the airport as a part of their operations. Additionally, Diamond Aircraft Industries routinely sends its trade aircraft through St. Clair to clear customs and continue to their respective destinations.

Although the remainder of the airport’s flights fall into the private or charter category, the most notable name among the traffic that has flown through is by far former President Donald Trump’s, who flew in on one of his smaller  private jets.

So, that should serve to showcase just how optimally located St. Clair Airport is relative to other even larger airports within the area. It’s a clear indicator that if an institution offers superior quality and convenience, it will always be selected as the best choice to work with.

A Culture of Service and Sustainability

While St. Clair’s locational convenience plays a big role in its success, the real driver behind its impact is the quality care it provides to the aircraft that fly in, the airport grounds, and even the natural environment around it.

As of August 1, 2023, the airport officially transitioned its Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) services over to St. Clair County, vastly improving its already incredible aircraft maintenance procedures.

Currently, St. Clair is a proud distributor of TITAN Aviation Fuel, and provides aircraft with Full Service at the incredible price of $6.25 per gallon. From a price standpoint alone, the price is already a sure winner against the more common $7 per gallon featured at most other airports in the area, especially the larger ones.

However, price isn’t the only area that St. Clair wins because the majority of larger airports in the area, places like Waterloo, don’t offer full service at all. So, in other places, airlines pay more and need their refueling teams, while St. Clair simply takes care of the entire refueling and maintenance process on its own and at a much lower price.

Director Fiore also ensures that a high quality of service is extended back to the airport itself, specifically in the areas of runway renovations and the maintenance of natural wildlife and obstructions.

St. Clair has two runways. There’s the main runway, Runway 0422, which is 5,100 feet and equipped with an instrument approach (ILS), and a smaller secondary runway, Runway 1028, at 4,000 feet. And while these are smaller than most runways, it’s their versatility that makes them so useful.

Runway 0422 is a north-south facing lane, while 1028 is a crosswind runway, and this gives pilots greater flexibility when it comes to landing, especially in windy weather.

“When planes are flying, they want to fly into the wind when they’re taking off and landing. But when you’re [flying north] and have a wind coming in from the west… well, that gets a little dicey,” Fiore says, explaining that St. Clair’s flexible runway options give pilots the added benefit of assured safe landing even in sub-optimal circumstances.

With those two lanes being so important, making sure that they stay in pristine condition is paramount, and Director Fiore goes through several efforts to ensure that.

The first way is by utilizing federal and state grant funding to apply towards the repaving and upgrading of runways. Most recently main Runway 04/22 was repaved, and new electrical systems and signage were installed in 2019. The total for the project was approximately $4.6 million that was awarded in grant funding.

However, this maintenance also includes the taxiways that run parallel to the runways. In fact, St. Clair is planning a repaving of Taxi Bravo, which accesses Main Runway 0422 in the coming years.

The airport also vigilantly manages the foliage and wildlife that stands to potentially obstruct traffic.  “We have a lot of trees in the area, so we are working with our consultants… then creating a plan so we can address them… we want to have a safe space for our pilots, but we also don’t want to just do the bare minimum,” Fiore says.

St. Clair County International Airport (SCCIA) - Port Huron, Michigan

Luggage Trailer on the Airport Tarmac

This maintenance involves potential trimming or removal of trees both inside and outside the perimeter fence that covers 800 of the airport’s 1000 acres to block animals like deer from wandering onto the runways.

The majority of everything above is handled by St. Clair’s longtime and foremost consultants, Mead & Hunt..

An Integrated Future Ahead

With quality and convenience already secured, the only thing left for St. Clair to tackle is expansion, and Director Fiore already has her eye on what that future looks like.

“My big thing for St. Clair County International Airport is community relations. Opening the gates to our neighbors and students and saying, hey, there’s an airport here, and it brings a lot to the community,” Fiore says.

That sentiment has already been tangibly followed up on with the airport restarting its Wings and Wheels Open House events, which opens its gates to the public to allow them to come in, view the aircraft on display, and even take children up into the air for what usually is their first flight experience ever.

With the seeds of aviation being planted in the hearts and minds of the younger generation, things should synergize well with Director Fiore’s next phase of her vision for St. Clair, which is the airport being able to host a flight school. With office spaces, and a separate building dedicated to flight training on the airport property, there is plenty of opportunity for flight training at St. Clair County. Considering the recent shortage of pilots throughout the country, this is setting the stage for a grassroots solution to a national problem.

Lastly, on the more corporate level, as Port Huron and St. Clair County expand economically, the airport’s burst in activity and community connection will lay the groundwork quite nicely for the last phase of Director Fiore’s vision, which is to support companies that are looking to settle down in the area via extensive cargo and charter operations.

Companies will be able to capitalize on St. Clair’s proximity, prices, and quality of service. With all of these advances on the horizon, one thing is abundantly clear.

With Director Catie Fiore leading the fleet, St. Clair County International Airport is gracefully positioning itself to soar straight into the dominant position of Michigan’s premier diamond in the sky.

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St. Clair County International Airport (SCCIA)

What: A thriving aviation hub committed to exceptional service, sustainability, and community integration.

Where: Port Huron, Michigan



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Diamond Aircraft Industries –


November 2023 Issue of Business View Magazine

December 2023

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