TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Some northern Michigan residents are upset that trees in their community are being removed to accommodate an airport runway expansion.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the Cherry Capital Airport renovations in Traverse City have increased the runway space to more than 7,000 feet (2,130 meters).

Airport Director Kevin Klein says the extension will allow for planes to fill more seats on hot summer days when thinner air provides less lift. He says some trees had to be cut because of their height.

Tree cutting began in December and should finish up this weekend. Contractors will then remove stumps and restore turf. Residents who lost trees will be allowed to replant ones that don’t grow as tall.

Area resident Michael Mariage says the area used to be “gorgeous” before the trees were removed.

Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle,

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