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Detroit Spotters Bi-weekly newsletter
Edition #8

Wow, what a great 2 weeks this has been! I was very happy to meet all of you I met last weekend and this weekend, it was truly a joy. Our group has moved along very fast, adding several new members as well as getting exposure from several places including and even AeroMéxico (who signed up for our newsletter believe it or not!). I would just like to thank all of you for the work you have done, and for spending time on the site, traffic has doubled this month!


3/1/08                  Daimler-Chrysler has ended it’s PTK-STR service with the business class, 48 seat configured A319. This flight was used to shuttle employees to and from Germany for meetings and such. It is a sad sight to see it gone, and I had hoped to get out to PTK one of these days to spot it.

2/25/08                                Analysts speculate that Detroit Metro Airport could become the number 1 gateway to Asia in the entire United States if a Northwest-Delta merger went through. They believe that DTW could see more flights to Asia that LAX, SFO, etc. Many believe this is just wishful thinking (such as I), but you never know what could happen.

2/22/08                AeroMéxico, the largest Mexican airline, loaded the schedules for DTW-MTY-MEX. The service will be 3 times weekly with a 737-700. This time it seems that they will finally fly the route, as it is now in the schedules and bookable.

AM693 will depart DTW on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 a.m. (ET) and arrive at MTY at 11:15 am (CT), and on to MEX, arriving at 2:00 p.m. (CT).

AM 692 will depart MEX to MTY at 2:15 p.m. (CT), then departing MTY at 4:50 p.m. (CT) and arriving at DTW 9:30 p.m. (ET).

Unfortunately for us spotters, the way the schedule currently is, we will only be able to catch the departure and not the arrival.

2/22/08                The DTW Airport Authority outlined it’s expansion plan Friday. The plans include adding another  10,000 foot runway, displacing 3,500 residents. I personally see no need for this, as they could just expand runway 3L/21R to 10,000+ feet, they have the room to do it. Many residents and anti-airport activists are up in arms about the plans, and for us spotters, it just means more hassle in guessing the runway they will be landing a certain plane on.

2/24/08                A and B terminal of the Smith Terminal had to be evacuated Sunday and 2,000 passengers rescreened when it was discovered that a metal detector wasn’t working for about 10 minutes. Planes actually had to be brought back to the terminal to have passengers rescreened. The discovery was made about 10:45 a.m. and operations didn’t get back to normal until about 1:00 p.m. Your own Matt Thaler and Nick Greed were actually in the terminal going to go get lunch in the middle of this event. I can tell you that the lines were extremely long when we got there (12:30 approx.) and wrapped all the way through the terminal.

Detroit Spotters Bi-weekly newsletter
Edition #7


We are now well into February, and the Detroit Spotters group is taking off. Traffic is at record levels and we finally had our first spotting trip, with members Andrew, Toby, Nick and myself attending. A fun time was had by all and great pictures were taken. You can read more about the trip on our forum at This issue will be very, very short as there were not many news stories these past 2 weeks.



2/6/08                  The dates and locations for the 2008 Red Bull Air Races were announced on Wednesday, Detroit is on the list as one of only two United States locations. There are a total of 10 races in the season and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it in Detroit. The dates of the show are May 31st and June 1st. Stay tuned to Detroit Spotters for a possible group trip
2/8/08                  An Air France A320-100 passed through DTW Friday on its way to Roswell New Mexico Air Center for retirement. The A320-100 is the original series A320 and does not have winglets. Unfortunately the Detroit area spotters are too lazy to have gone out and gotten us a picture! ;)

2/12/08                Detroit Metro Airport officials published the 2007 traffic figures on Tuesday. Traffic at Detroit Metro Airport changed 0.0% from 2006 officials said. There was only a drop of 5,873 passengers for the year, so small it does not register a percentage. The passenger count held steady even as the amount of flights into DTW dropped 3%, meaning airlines are operating into DTW with larger airplanes.

2/14/08                A man was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport Thursday when he was found parked in front of the McNamara Terminal with a loaded weapon in the vehicle. There was also an open container of alcohol. Other details are not available as there is an active investigation.

That’s it! I told you it would be short! Please feel free to post in our forums with any stories you find, or any discussions you want to have.

Detroit Spotters Bi-weekly newsletter
Edition #6

Wow, January went fast! As February moves along, we can expect warmer weather and possible spotting. I am looking forward to what February has in store for us. The past 2 weeks have been very busy news-wise so there is a lot to talk about. Please feel free to post anything in our forums. If you find a story, please post it!


1/22/08                Detroit Metropolitan Airport will be one of the first airports to get the new 10-fingerprinting system, receiving it by the end of February.  First to get the system was Dulles Airport in Washington, DC. Atlanta and Boston receive theirs this month. The new system records all 10 fingerprints for visitors coming into the United States.

1/25/08                Aeromexico, the Mexican airline who likes to publish routes that it never starts, has decided to apply for 2 routes to Detroit. DTW-MEX and DTW-MTY both 3x weekly using the 73G. It is unlikely that they will start these routes, but keep and eye out.

1/25/08                Not only will we see KLM metal at DTW in the summer (the KLM A332), but now on the books for the winter schedule is AMS-DTW on KLM’s 777-200. If this does come true, it will be the first time Detroit has seen scheduled 777 service for a long time. It will be nice to finally see it landing in Detroit.

1/28/08                The Detroit Metropolitan Airport Authority announced that the new North Terminal will open September 2008. This is exiting news as it means Detroit travelers will no longer have to deal with the 50 year old Smith. The new terminal has 26 gates and will house all other airlines but Northwest and its partners. Royal Jordanian and Lufthansa will make the move in 2009.

1/29/08                Northwest Airlines announced it’s 4th quarter and yearly results today. The results are simply fantastic. For the 4th quarter of 2007, Northwest reported a net loss of $8 million. This includes a fourth quarter pre-tax loss associated with the sale of it’s share of Pinnacle. Excluding this, Northwest Airlines broke even for the fourth quarter.  Just for comparison, here are the losses/gains of the other major airlines fourth quarter:

           American: $69 Million loss
           Delta: $70 Million loss
           United: $53 Million loss

This minimal loss helped Northwest announce a stunning profit of $764 million. This caused Northwest to have a pre-tax margin of 6.1 percent, higher than any other carrier in the United States.  The results are an improvement of $463 million from 2006, and 2.1 billion since 2005. Doug Steenland, Northwest CEO  commented saying “Our front-line employees and flight crews deserve great credit for running a very reliable airline during the peak travel periods in November and December, despite the significant winter weather challenges. As a result of our employees efforts and commitment over the course of the year, the Company will have paid out to them $125 million in profit sharing, performance incentives and reliability payments. This will be the highest employee incentives payout in Company history, nearly a 175 percent improvement over 2006.
Good job Northwest, and all Northwest employees!

1/30/08                Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain has announced today that it will open up 5 franchises in U.S. airports in the next couple of years. The first to airports to receive the restaurants are Orlando and Detroit, who will receive it by early 2009.

1/31/08                Northwest Airlines has announced it is starting DTW to ICT, Wichita Kansas. This route will be flown 1x daily with a CRJ-200, flown by Northwest Airlines’ regional partner, Pinnacle. The flight will start on May 2nd. The flight schedule is as follows:
Flight 3737: DTW-ICT Departure: 1915 local Arrival: 2041 local
Flight 2939: ICT-DTW Departure: 0920 local Arrival: 1247 local
This route was announced in edition to the already announced routes of DTW-LHR, DTW-LGW becoming a 757-200, and DTW-MTY (Monterrey Mexico). Yet to be announced is DTW-ESC-IWT with a Saab 340, flying on behalf of EAS (Essential Air Service).

1/31/08                Midwest Air Group Inc. has announced that the buyout by TPG Inc. of which Northwest Airlines is a passive buyer, was approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. Also approved was a takeover of Midwest Air Group by Northwest Airlines Corp although Northwest has said they are not planning to takeover Midwest at this time.

Detroit Spotters Bi-weekly newsletter
Edition #5

And the 2008 year trudges on! These 2 past weeks have been very slow, news-wise for DTW. So this edition will be short.


1/16/08                Northwest Airlines, the dominant air carrier at Detroit Metro Airport, has announced nonstop service between Detroit and Monterrey, Mexico this week. These new flights will be on the brand new  Northwest Airlines regional partner Compass Airlines Embraer 175’s. The new Embraer 175’s boast 76 leather seats with adjustable headrests in 2 classes of service. There will be 12 first class seats and 64 coach seats. The first flight, flight 1801 will depart DTW at 09:10 on May 2nd and arrive in Monterrey at 12:00 local. The return flight will be flight 1800, leaving Monterrey at 13:00 local and arriving in DTW at 17:50 local. Be aware that this isn’t replacing the planned AeroMexico flight, although many believe that AeroMexico (like before) will never begin this route, but nothing has been canceled officially yet.

1/17/08                It has been confirmed that Northwest Airlines has entered in formal merger talks with Delta Airlines. Northwest is Detroit’s largest air carrier and it’s hub at DTW is their largest. It should be noted that Delta is also in talks with United Airlines for a possible merger. What does this mean for Detroit? Well, it could mean one of two things. Either a reduction in flights or an increase in flights. Most analysts, as well as myself feel that if this merger happens, it will mean in increase in flights for DTW. As much as I hate to see any consolidation of air carriers in the United States, it is greatly needed.

1/14/08                Detroit area residents saw a reduction in airfares for the 2007 season, causing a savings of 109 Million according to a recent study. DTW is one of only 3 major hubs in the US to actually see a fare decline in 2007m as well as one of only 34 total airports to experience a decrease.  The average cost-per-mile to fly in and out of DTW was lower than 79% of the nation’s top 300 airports. This is great news for the region which is suffering from a sagging economy. Congrats to DTW and area residents for this milestone, and happy travels!

1/14/08                Lansing Airport (LAN) will be getting non-stop flights to Shannon, Ireland twice weekly starting June 25th. This seasonal service runs through early September and will be the first international service the airport has ever seen. The Capital City airport authority has offered a $100,000 marketing incentive to Kenny Tours, who operates the charter. The aircraft being operated will be Boeing 757-200’s wet-leased from North American Airlines (NAA). Roundtrip tickets are expected to start at $799. As always, stay tuned to Detroit Spotters for more information.

Detroit Spotters Bi-weekly newsletter
Edition #4

Welcome to the New Year! 2008 is sure to be a great year for Detroit Spotters as we prepare to grow and get the word out about our organization. Please do what you can to aid in this effort.


12/27/07             Northwest Airlines announced that it is giving customers the option of rebooking flights this holiday season for free due to the storms that effected DTW.  Passengers traveling through the states of Illinois, Michigan, or Wisconsin may rebook travel through January 13th for free by contacting 1-800-225-2525 or rebook online at

12/28/07             Northwest operated charters for the University of Michigan for the 2008 Capital One Bowl. Detroit saw a Boeing 747-200, a Boeing 747-400, a 757-200 and an A330-300 all used for the charters.  Northwest Airlines has a 747-200 that is used only for charter operations.  Congrats to the University of Michigan on their win against Florida, and for the chance to ride on a 747 Classic.

12/29/07             Detroit airport officials and federal investigators are investigating a program at DTW used to help minority and female contractors. The program requires airport contracts to be shared with women or minority owned small companies. “My understanding is that there were some accusations made about fraudulent activities – contractors signing off on work that was not being done.” Were the words of Bernard Parker, a Wayne County Airport Authority board member.

12/19/07             A China Southern Airlines delegation visited Detroit to discuss the carrier’s new service between DTW and Beijing starting March 2009. China Southern Airlines new service will bring over $95 million in annual economic benefit to Michigan. Beijing remains the second largest market in China behind Shanghai. Shanghai service will begin on Northwest Airlines in March 2009. China Southern’s  flights will be on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

1/1/08                  Embassy Suites at DTW was the first hotel to be opened in 2008. The 151-suite hotel  is owned by Cooper Hotels. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at 12:01 AM on January 1st.

Detroit Spotters Bi-weekly newsletter
Edition #3

Christmas is approaching, and with that we get the beautiful Michigan mid-afternoon light. Take advantage of this light and get out there spotting (Just make sure to stay warm!)  



12/14/07             I am proud to announce that, along with local photographer Karl Smith, we have submitted our application for a spotting group to The process is taking a bit longer than normal, so please be patient. This spotting group will help us advance as a group, and draw in many new members.

12/10/07             Stay tuned to our spotting page for possible new spots! Karl Smith, local photographer has sent me a list of spotting locations and as I have time, I will review them and add them to the map.


12/5/07                FedEx renewed its lease on its cargo facilities at DTW. This lease is expected to last 3 years.

12/8/07                Plans are moving ahead to build a horse race track on land south of DTW, near Eureka Road and I-275 for next year. I scoped out this area on advanced Satellite Technology (A.K.A. Google Earth) ;) and it looks like it MAY be a new spotting location, but be aware, we don’t know if the owners will like our presence or not.

12/10/07             Aeromexico has announced that it intends to fly DTW to Monterrey, Mexico via its regional subsidiary “Aeromexico Connect”. The route will be flown on Embraer 190’s, and plans to start April 2008. This is great news for DTW as we add another new carrier to our profile; it is also great news to us spotters as we get a new plane type, and new airline to try to catch. Great news for the region!

12/11/07             Northwest Airlines announced Tuesday that it will fly DTW-LHR (Heathrow, London England). They will also fly from MSP and SEA. The flights are expected to begin May 1st and will use the Airbus A330 (expected to be the A330-300). Flight 102 (DTW-LHR) will depart from DTW at 1750 Local from DTW, and arrive at LHR 0705 Local the next day. I have no info on the return flight yet. This is great news for DTW because there is now a DTW-LHR route, as British Airways announced it will be pulling out of DTW March 29th.

12/12/07             Northwest Airlines unveiled their new flight attendant and gate agent uniforms at DTW Wednesday at a runway fashion show. The uniforms were designed by Northwest Employees and designer Miranda Moss. The fashion show, on the concourse of the McNamara terminal, featured 28 Northwest flight attendants and customer service employees from the US and Asia to model the new uniforms. Northwest Airlines also made the wish of one teen girl. Partnering with the Make-A-Wish foundation, Northwest had Asheligh Turner, a  Grosse Pointe, MI teen who’s dream was to participate in a runway event modeling during the show. The new uniforms will be out system-wide by fall 2008.

12/14/07             Another Aerotropolis update. The city has approved the deadlines and guidelines of the project. A 60-member task force has approved the plans, and a master plan for the project is due next month. The project is expected to bring in 25,000 jobs.

Detroit Spotters Bi-weekly newsletter
Edition #2  


We are now officially into the month of December! The year is winding down and the weather is getting colder. December also brings a time of more flight delays out of DTW due to the unpredictable Michigan weather. Thanksgiving flights ran rather smooth at DTW with little delay. Just as a reminder to you all, if you are flying this month, make sure to check with your airline about your flight status, and arrive at the airport plenty early (Remember, the earlier you arrive, the more time you have to spot!!)



11/24/07             It is an exciting time for myself and Detroit Spotters! The web site is now officially open with several features for you to enjoy, including an interactive spotting map for DTW, and useful links, etc.! Please take time to check it out. If you have noticed, we also have a new logo! REQUEST: Anyone who has knowledge of Flash, please contact me, thanks.

11/28/07             I am glad to announce that and have partnered up. I had the pleasure of meeting up with Phil Derner Jr., the owner/administrator of this summer. A partnership with means many things for us, including more active publicity, as’s forum boasts over 600 members. Please take time to check them out at

12/1/07       is very close to being able to open up their own spotters group on All we need is 1 more member with 100+ photos. Please guys, go through your collections and try to get up to that number. A spotters group would provide us with a source of publicity that goes straight to the source. Most spotters at DTW don’t know about us, that needs to change.


11/23/07             Cooper Hotels Inc. announced last Friday that it plans to start construction on its third hotel at DTW. It will be a 126-unit, 36-suite Hampton Inn & Suites. The project is expected to cost $12 million. The new hotel will be on Smith/Merriman road.  Cooper Hotels will also be doing renovation on its DTW Hilton Suites, re-branding it as an Embassy Suites hotel. This will be the first ever Embassy Suites hotel for Cooper.

11/25/07             Aerotropolis plans are moving ahead as scheduled.  Due to Detroit’s failing economy, local politicians and business leaders are pushing a plan to make DTW the first ever aerotropolis (Airport City). This plan would have the land residing between DTW and YIP devoted to aviation resources, and has already attracted several aerospace businesses. "We've got an economy that's been hit really hard. We've got to start doing things outside the box," Said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. This could really be great news for the economy of Michigan. Stay tuned for more updates.

11/27/07             DTW’s runway 3R/21L is now officially open again. The cost of the rehabilitation program was $50 million. The rehabilitation is expected to add 20 years to the life of the runway. Local leaders and airport officials met Thursday to ceremonially open the runway. The newly installed pavement section has 17 inches of concrete over 9 inches of bituminous base course over 16 inches of crushed aggregate base course.

11/27/07             Northwest, Detroit’s largest carrier, reports that Thanksgiving flights showed “A stellar operating performance” during the 5-day peak travel period. The airline only canceled 3 flights in its entire network.  Northwest's on-time arrivals within 14 minutes were a solid 78 percent, Doug Steenland (Northwest CEO) said, "despite the inclement weather we experienced in our Detroit Metro hub on Wednesday and the worse than usual congestion and air traffic control delays on the East Coast." Congratulations to NWA and all the Metro carriers for their great performance this Thanksgiving.

11/29/07             Northwest Airlines has agreed to pay the 1.6 million dollars in legal fees the Northwest Pilot Union incurred during the bankruptcy court hearings. This comes on the heels of Northwest also paying the legal bills of hedge funds that fought over whether shareholders should receive a payout from bankruptcy filings. Northwest emerged from bankruptcy in May, 2007.

11/30/07             Willow Run airport officials and consultants from Barnard Dunkelberg Co. are in a series of public information meetings on noise studies at Willow Run. This is part of the Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study and is being conducted to identify and evaluate current and future noise effects caused by aircraft operations at Willow Run.

11/30/07             GE Aviation, a unit of GE Electric Co, said it will expand the University Center facility in Houghton, Michigan, adding 50 new aerospace jobs.  This will expand GE’s workforce in Michigan to nearly 1,700, with it’s main facility in Grand Rapids.

Detroit Spotters Bi-weekly newsletter
Edition #1  

Well all, it has sure been a long year so far! In order to keep us all connected I thought I would start a mailing list.

The newsletters hopefully will be sent out every other Saturday by me, but please try to get the site active, it would be great to have an active community. I will be splitting this newsletter into 3 sections for now. We have the intro, news in brief, and spotting planning. Hope you all enjoy!

Member Nick Greed will be leaving Michigan Friday, November 23rd to go attend ATP down in JAX, Florida. Wish him luck! Nick, you are a great a great guy and I am proud to call you friend! See you when you get back!

11/15/07 Mesaba plans to add 250 jobs and base at least 16 CRJ-900’s as well as some more CRJ-200’s at DTW. The Saabs are also getting refurbishment this month.

11/11/07 Northwest re-started DTW-AMS with a 747-400. For the winter and summer months 2008.

11/7/07 ACI-NA (Airports Council International – North America) voted the McNamara Terminal as the “Best Convenience Retail Program in North America” This comes on the heels of the news that the McNamara Terminal was honored in the 2007 Airport Revenue News (ARN) Concession Poll as: Best Overall Concession Program, Best Concession Management Team, Best Concession Program Design, and Airport with the Most Unique Services. DTW also finished first place among large North American airports in the categories of Best Food & Beverage Program and Best Retail Specialty Program, in Airports Council International – North America’s (ACI-NA) 2006 Excellence in Concessions Contest. Props to the DTW concessions team, way to go in helping DTW be known as one of the best airports in the country!

The Wayne County Airport Authority last Tuesday detailed a new growth plan for DTW. They see traffic at DTW to grow 67% within the next 20 years (36 million PAX/year to 60 million, on par with LAX). The airport commission wants to install a light rail system between the McNamara and North terminal. This plan was quickly shot down by Northwest, whose vice president of government affairs, Andrea Fischer Newman said “We don’t believe there is ridership for it. Money is better used for runways, taxiways, or terminals, which benefit the largest number of passengers”. The airport also wants to install a 5th parallel runway, yes you heard me right A 5TH PARALLEL!. Only one airport in the country has 5 parallels, DFW. I don’t feel we really need this extra runway, DTW is never crowded runway wise. It would make a total of 7 runways at DTW. All of the changes would be paid for by PFC’s (Passenger Facility Charges)

11/6/07 FYI: Traffic is being rerouted on Rogell drive. Upper and lower are effected due to the construction of the new transportation center.

11/5/07 KLM is returning to DTW using their own metal starting March 30, 2008!:

KL #618
Depart: 20:40pm
Arrive: 10:35+1 day
Aircraft: A332

KL #617
Depart: 16:20
Arrive: 18:05
Aircraft: A332

9/27/07 Ok, it’s not recent but I feel it is worth a mention. China Southern will start flights to DTW starting in 2009 using the Boeing 787. China Southern currently only serves 1 US airport, LAX. This is an exciting time for the airport as we expand internationally.


Well, we all seem to want to go spotting. I currently do not have a car (January I will hopefully) so if we go spotting, it would be great if I could ride with someone. Just post on the forums what weekends you are available.

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