Air Transportation Options
MBS International Airport is located between Midland, Bay City and Saginaw, a convenient 20-minute drive from the Medical Center. Commercial flights are provided by United and Northwest airlines. Driving directions from MBS Airport are provided on our individual map pages.
Private Air Transportation
Private planes may use Jack Barstow Airport (IKW), just north of Midland. The airport has two runways, 3000 and 3800 ft. long for light planes. It is a five-minute drive to the Medical Center, although ground transportation is best arranged in advance.
Volunteer Air Transport Services
Several Michigan organizations provide air transportation when there is a financial need.
Air Care Alliance is directory of volunteer-based charitable aviation transportation groups
LifeLine Pilots services 10 States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin). Their mission is to facilitate free air transportation for children and adults with medical humanitarian needs. Flights start at a minimum 150 nautical miles with a maximum of 1000 nautical miles. If a flight is longer, the mission coordinator can request special arrangements. There are NO medical personnel on these flights. All adult passengers may travel with one (1) companion and a child passenger may travel with two (2) companions.
Phone: (800) 822-7972
- Must have a medical or humanitarian need distant from home.
- Must have a financial need for assistance.
- Must be able to fly in a non - pressurized aircraft.
- Must be able to board the aircraft with minimal assistance.
- Must be able to sit upright in a standard aircraft seat wearing a standard seat-belt.
- Must be willing to sign a liability release form.
- Must provide own transportation to and from the airport.
Northwoods Airlifeline serves patients living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula or Northeast Wisconsin. It is a non-profit organization funded through the private donations, the United Way and other human service agencies. Oxygen, intravenous medications and children traveling with a guardian can be accommodated. Northwoods pilots fly four or six-seat planes and flight range limited to 500 air miles. Priority is given to patients in need of urgent care and where other means of transportation are not practical.
Phone: Toll Free (800) 311-1760 or for emergencies call the Dickinson County Sheriff Department: (906) 774-6262
- Physician statement required. Statement must request transportation due to patient's medical condition and confirm that patient can tolerate a non-pressurized flight, sit upright and is able to walk.
- Passenger weight must be less than 280 lbs.
Wings of Mercy, Inc. is based out of Zeeland, Michigan and their destination service area is anywhere East of the Rocky Mountains (within the continental United States). If you have a medical need for long-distance transportation to receive treatment but cannot afford to travel, we can help.
Phone: (616) 396-1077
- Meet the limited disposable income requirements.
- Have a medical need for long distance transportation east of the Rocky Mountains.
- Be cleared by a doctor to travel in a small aircraft without in-flight medical personnel or critical care equipment.
Wings of Mercy East Michigan serves people of Eastern Michigan by providing free air transportation for patients with limited incomes needing treatment at medical centers in the Eastern and Midwestern United States.
Phone: Toll-Free (866) 32-MERCY or (866) 326-3729
Requirements: Patients will be screened by our Recipient Counselor.
- Must have a doctor attest that treatment is necessary, the patient is medically stable and whether a pressurized aircraft is required.
- Patient must sign a Wings of Mercy waiver.
- Must receive treatment at a recognized medical center within 600 miles of eastern Michigan.
- Provide ample notice of travel dates.
- Non-smoking flight.
- Observe fluid restriction prior to flight.
- Comply with luggage restrictions.
- Arrange for own ground transportation at destination.
- Family member(s) can fly if space is available.