County Executive Scott Walker Announces A Record Year In 2007 For General Mitchell International Airport

January 29, 2008

MILWAUKEE (January 29, 2008) – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today that Mitchell International Airport finished 2007 with an all-time-high number of passengers. For the year, the passenger total is a record 7,713,144, a 5.67 percent increase over the 7,299,294 passengers using Mitchell in 2006.

Walker credited “an increase of nearly 134,000 competitively priced seats offered last year by Mitchell International’s airlines,” as a key factor in the passenger growth. He added that airline merger discussions in 2007 shone a spotlight on the excellent air service available out of Milwaukee, which compelled more travelers to give Mitchell a try.

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “The seventh major airport renovation project in the last few years – the addition of eight new gates, which are already leased to airlines – was completed in 2007. This gives Mitchell more capacity for its projected passenger growth, and makes the airport easier to navigate and more comfortable for our passengers. Travelers are increasingly choosing the ease of Mitchell over the congestion of O’Hare.”

Passenger records were set in each month of the 4th Quarter. The October 2007 count of 661,012 passengers was an increase of 9.6 percent over October 2006. November 2007’s 622,000 passenger total was up 9.31 percent over November 2006. In December 2007, 577,725 passengers used Mitchell, an increase of 3.83 percent above December 2006.

The average airfare out of Milwaukee was lower than 47 other U.S. airports, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics for 2nd Quarter 2007. Mitchell’s average fare is within $3.15 of both O’Hare’s and the nation’s average fare.

U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show that Mitchell moved up to 49th from 50th largest U.S. airport in number of passengers served. Mitchell also ranks among the top 10 percent of U.S. cities in the number of nonstop destinations

Highlights of 2007 include:

  • In April, renovation of the Concourse E stem was completed. The corridor has been widened and the lighting improved, and a new children’s play area and family restroom have been added.
  • In July, an $18 million, 61,100 square foot, eight-gate addition opened on Concourse C, bringing a variety of new passenger amenities to the concourse. The addition’s clerestory and floor-to-ceiling windows fill the gate areas with natural light and provide a panoramic view of the airfield. New traveler amenities include a children’s play area, a business center with executive work stations, and new food and retail outlets. Passengers will also find the beautiful colors and mosaic medallions of renowned artist Carlos Alves’ “Aerial Wisconsin.”  The concourse-long terrazzo floor depicts southeastern Wisconsin complete with mosaic floor medallions highlighting locations passengers might see as they fly into MKE.
  • In July, a new taxiway that accommodates two-way aircraft traffic around Concourse C opened.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation & Public Works, Airport Division, under the policy direction of the Milwaukee County Executive and the County Board of Supervisors. The airport is entirely funded by user fees; no property tax dollars are used for the airport’s capital improvements or for its day-to-day operation.