2008 News Releases

Walker Announces 2008 TSA Partnership Award Goes to Mitchell International Airport

December 9, 2008

MILWAUKEE (December 9, 2008) – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today that General Mitchell International Airport (GMIA) has received the 2008 TSA Partnership Award as part of the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 2008 Honorary Award Recipient program. Walker said, “This is a good example of two agencies working together toward the common goal of enhancing the safety and security of the nearly eight million passengers using our airport each year. We are pleased to support TSA in its efforts to keep our skies safe.”

The nomination by Louis Traverzo, TSA’s Federal Security Director at Mitchell Airport, cited the efforts of Airport Director Barry Bateman and Deputy Airport Director Terry Blue, along with the staff of GMIA, to work with TSA in partnership on a variety of issues in 2008.

Security-related partnership initiatives for which GMIA was recognized include:

  • coordinating and supporting arriving-vehicle explosive-detection inspections,
  • enhancing roving law enforcement patrols,
  • increasing airport employee identification checks.
  • improving emergency security procedures in the event of a weather-related disaster,
  • enhancing the airport access control program.
  • improving the fencing around the perimeter of the airport,
  • strengthening security requirements in airport tenant areas,

GMIA also was acknowledged for its role in several customer service enhancements:

  • implementing the Black Diamond Self Select Lane Program,
  • installing 40″ flat screen monitors at each checkpoint to better inform passengers with TSA passenger travel videos,
  • constructing podiums for TSA’s Travel Document Checker Program
  • participating in the Mail-Safe program, a large mail drop service that allows passengers to retain possession of checkpoint-prohibited items by mailing them home.

TSA also recognized GMIA for its cooperation in:

  • enhancing the workplace environment at the security checkpoints, baggage screening areas and breakrooms through safety programs and improved aesthetics,
  • enhancing connectivity for TSA training computers,
  • coordinating summer-hire minority high school student employment as part of the Aviation Career Education program, providing TSA with 12 students to assist in loading bags and assisting passengers at the checkpoints.
  • conducting joint tours for students and interested parties
  • hosting blood drives together.

In his nomination, Traverzo noted that although GMIA has worked closely with TSA throughout the years, 2008 was especially interactive due to the number of security programs that were initiated and implemented.  “It is this type of cooperation and support that promotes a team effort in providing for the safety and security of our passengers and employees,” Traverzo said.


MILWAUKEE (December 9, 2008) – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today that General Mitchell International Airport (GMIA) has received the 2008 TSA Partnership Award as part of the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 2008 Honorary Award Recipient program. Walker said, “This is a good example of two agencies working together toward the common goal of enhancing the safety and security of the nearly eight million passengers using our airport each year. We are pleased to support TSA in its efforts to keep our skies safe.”

The nomination by Louis Traverzo, TSA’s Federal Security Director at Mitchell Airport, cited the efforts of Airport Director Barry Bateman and Deputy Airport Director Terry Blue, along with the staff of GMIA, to work with TSA in partnership on a variety of issues in 2008.

Security-related partnership initiatives for which GMIA was recognized include:

  • coordinating and supporting arriving-vehicle explosive-detection inspections,
  • enhancing roving law enforcement patrols,
  • increasing airport employee identification checks.
  • improving emergency security procedures in the event of a weather-related disaster,
  • enhancing the airport access control program.
  • improving the fencing around the perimeter of the airport,
  • strengthening security requirements in airport tenant areas,

GMIA also was acknowledged for its role in several customer service enhancements:

  • implementing the Black Diamond Self Select Lane Program,
  • installing 40″ flat screen monitors at each checkpoint to better inform passengers with TSA passenger travel videos,
  • constructing podiums for TSA’s Travel Document Checker Program
  • participating in the Mail-Safe program, a large mail drop service that allows passengers to retain possession of checkpoint-prohibited items by mailing them home.

TSA also recognized GMIA for its cooperation in:

  • enhancing the workplace environment at the security checkpoints, baggage screening areas and breakrooms through safety programs and improved aesthetics,
  • enhancing connectivity for TSA training computers,
  • coordinating summer-hire minority high school student employment as part of the Aviation Career Education program, providing TSA with 12 students to assist in loading bags and assisting passengers at the checkpoints.
  • conducting joint tours for students and interested parties
  • hosting blood drives together.

In his nomination, Traverzo noted that although GMIA has worked closely with TSA throughout the years, 2008 was especially interactive due to the number of security programs that were initiated and implemented.  “It is this type of cooperation and support that promotes a team effort in providing for the safety and security of our passengers and employees,” Traverzo said.

Walker Announces Launch of Real-Time Parking Status Monitor and Smart Pass System at Mitchell Airport

October 14, 2008

MILWAUKEE (October 14, 2008) – County Executive Scott Walker announced that General Mitchell International Airport is making it even easier to park at the airport as it introduces its new real-time Parking Status Monitor and Smart Pass system.

The airport’s new Web based real-time Parking Status Monitor gives travelers the chance to view parking capacities and trends for each of Mitchell’s parking lots before heading to the airport.  The program is available on the airport’s Web site www.mitchellairport.com/parking and is updated every five minutes.

Optimized for busy business travelers, the real-time Parking Status Monitor has also been specially formatted for BlackBerry and smart phone users.  Customers can now evaluate parking options from their devices before arriving at the airport.

Mitchell Airport has also premiered the all-new Smart Pass system.  Linked directly to a driver’s credit card, the Smart Pass system allows users to enter and exit airport parking areas with a simple wave of the pass.  No longer will drivers need to pull parking tickets or remember to carry cash on them.  Smart Pass can be used in any airport parking area.  The Smart Pass can be “read” at all cashier lanes, and a Smart Pass Express Lane is available for added convenience

Customers can get more information and register for the new Smart Pass at the Mitchell Airport Web site www.mitchellairport.com/parking, by calling airport parking services at 414-747-4561, or by stopping at the parking office located next to the parking structure cashier booths.

Walker Announces 17th Straight Month of Passenger Growth at Mitchell International Airport

October 3, 2008

MILWAUKEE (October 3, 2008) – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today that  the August 2008 passenger total at General Mitchell International Airport set a 17th straight monthly record of growth. August’s total of 790,284 passengers was an increase of 7.03 percent over last August’s 738,388 passengers. The number of passengers for the first eight months of 2008 also is a record at 5,749,768, a 9.41 percent increase over 2007’s 5,255,305 passengers for the same period.

Walker credited the additional summer seasonal service offered by AirTran for the increase in passengers. “AirTran’s added flights raised the number of available airline seats and lowered the fares during the busy summer travel season,” said Walker.

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “Passengers who have some flexibility in their travel dates can still find $200 roundtrip fares from Mitchell Airport to popular destinations. Nationwide flight reductions caused by high fuel prices mean that seats for holiday travel will be in high demand, resulting in higher fares.” Bateman also noted that this summer’s increased number of airlines seats at bargain fares resulted in a surge of Illinois passengers using Mitchell. “In July, more than nine percent of the cars in Mitchell’s parking lots had Illinois plates,” he said. “For many Lake and McHenry County residents, Mitchell is closer and more convenient than the other Chicago airports.”

Mitchell has nonstop service to 42 cities and one-stop connecting service to destinations throughout the world. Average airfares at Mitchell are lower than those at 40 other U.S. airports, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics.

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. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

Condé Nast Traveler Readers Again Rank Milwaukee’s Mitchell International 4th Best Airport in the Nation

October 2, 2008

MILWAUKEE (October 2, 2008)– Businesspeople who read Condé Nast Traveler, a magazine for frequent travelers, again ranked Milwaukee County’s General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) as 4th best in the nation in categories including Location/Access, Design, Customs/Baggage, Ease of Connections, Perceived Safety/Security and Food/Shops/Amenities.  In 2006, Mitchell ranked 5th overall and in 2007 moved up to 4th. The eleventh annual Readers’ Choice Awards appear in the magazine’s October 2008 issue.

“We are proud that Mitchell has ranked in the top five best for business travel for three years. The concourse, terminal and parking renovations we’ve completed are providing passengers with the efficiency and amenities they need as they travel throughout the nation and the world,” said Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.

A record number of passengers, 7.7 million, used Mitchell in 2007. In July, Mitchell recorded its 16th straight month of record passengers. Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “The strong growth is due in part to increased use of Mitchell as an alternative to Chicago’s O’Hare, both for residents of the northern Chicago suburbs and for out-of-state visitors to northern Illinois. The drive to Mitchell from the northern Chicago suburbs is often shorter than to O’Hare, the cost of covered parking is less than half and airfares are often lower. The airlines serving Mitchell have been offering some very competitive fares, drawing passengers from a wide market area.”

Bateman noted that Mitchell has undergone more than $50 million in expansion and renovation of all three airport concourses, adding lanes and widening security checkpoints, adding boarding gates and enlarging corridors and seating areas. Within the next year, all of Mitchell’s food and beverage concessions will be renovated, offering a mix of local favorites and popular national vendors.

Mitchell Airport’s 11 airlines offer nonstop flights to 42 cities and one-stop connections to major cities throughout the world.  It is the 49th largest airport in the nation in terms of number of passengers.

General Mitchell International Airport is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of 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. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

Walker Announces July Mitchell International Airport Passenger Count Eclipses June Record, Breaks 800,000 Mark 16th Straight Month of Passenger Growth

September 8, 2008

MILWAUKEE (September 8, 2008) – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today that  the July 2008 passenger total at General Mitchell International Airport eclipsed the all-time one-month record set in June, and marked the first time the airport has hosted more than 800,000 passengers in a month. July’s total of 821,610 passengers was an increase of 11.49 percent over last July’s 736,965 passengers. The number of passengers for the first seven months of 2008 also is a record at 4,959,484, a 9.8 percent increase over 2007’s 4,516,917 passengers for the same period.

Walker noted that July was the 16th straight month of record passenger numbers at Mitchell International. “Travelers snapped up the low fares offered in July when, for the first time, more than a million seats were available into and out of Mitchell,” said Walker. “It was a busy summer at Wisconsin’s gateway airport.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “While there still are some amazingly low fares on nonstops out of Milwaukee, September brings the end of a number of flights airlines added for the summer season, along with flight reductions announced by Midwest Airlines. Mitchell and other airports nationwide will have fewer seats and flights this fall compared with last year as a result of rising fuel costs.”

Mitchell has nonstop service to 42 cities and one-stop connecting service to destinations throughout the world. Average airfares at Mitchell are lower than those at 40 other U.S. airports, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics.

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. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

Walker Announces June Passenger Count Is An All-Time One-Month High For General Mitchell International Airport

August 5, 2008

Record 1st and 2nd Quarters; 15th Straight Month of Passenger Growth

MILWAUKEE (August 5, 2008) – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today that the number of passengers using General Mitchell International Airport in June 2008 set an all-time one-month record. The month’s total of 789,513 passengers was an increase of 14.09 percent over last June’s 691,994 passengers. The total eclipses the previous high month, March 2008 at 745,893 passengers. The number of passengers for the first half of 2008 also is a record at 4,137,874, a 9.47 percent increase over 2007’s 3,779,952 passengers for the same period.

Walker said that June was the 15th straight month of record passenger numbers at Mitchell International. “June is a traditionally strong air travel month,” said Walker. “As soon as school is out, vacationers take to the skies. The “snowbirds” come back to enjoy Wisconsin’s beautiful summers, many using Mitchell as the gateway to their destination. With the flights added by AirTran, there were 16 percent more airline seats into and out of Mitchell this June at very competitive fares.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “Come September, Mitchell and other airports nationwide will see the effects of rising fuel costs in fewer nonstop flights to fewer cities. Right now, there still are some great bargain nonstop round-trip fares out of Milwaukee for the fall. It’s a good time to buy to take advantage of these advance-purchase deals.” Bateman also noted that, “Apple Vacations and Funjet Vacations have already started selling tickets out of Mitchell for their nonstop charter flights to Cancun, Cozumel, Ixtapa, Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Cana for the winter/spring travel season. After last winter’s snowfall, travelers may want to plan early for this winter’s warm, sunny getaway trip.”

Mitchell ranks among the top 10 percent of U.S. cities in number of destinations served nonstop. Average airfares at Mitchell are lower than those at 46 other U.S. airports, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics.

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. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

Walker Announces May Passenger Record For General Mitchell International Airport

July 7, 2008

14th Straight Month of Passenger Growth

MILWAUKEE (July 7, 2008) – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today that the number of passengers using General Mitchell International Airport in May 2008 set a record for that month. The May total of 733,862 passengers was an increase of 14.29 percent over last May’s 642,110 passengers. For the first five months of 2008, the number of passengers is 8.43 percent higher than the same period in 2007.  This is the 14th straight month of record passenger numbers at Mitchell International.

Walker said, “The increase in May was fueled by AirTran’s addition of nonstop flights from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Boston, San Diego and Las Vegas. There were 17 percent more airline seats available out of Mitchell International this May compared to last May, and nearly all of those seats were filled.”

Airport Director Barry Bateman noted that, “The number of new flights added at very competitive fares this summer offers a great opportunity for travelers. Passengers nationwide will see the effects of rising fuel costs in higher fares and fewer flights as the year progresses, so they should take advantage of current low fares and book their tickets now.”

Mitchell ranks among the top 10 percent of U.S. cities in number of nonstop destinations. Average airfares at Mitchell are lower than those at 46 other U.S. airports, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics.

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. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

Walker Announces April Passenger Record For General Mitchell International Airport

June 12, 2008

13th Straight Month of Passenger Growth

MILWAUKEE (June 12, 2008) – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced today that the number of passengers using General Mitchell International Airport in April 2008 set a record for that month. The April total of 664,924 passengers was an increase of 0.44 percent over last April’s 661,990 passengers. The number of passengers in March 2008 was an all-time-high one-month total. For the first four months of 2008, the number of passengers is 6.36 percent higher than the same period in 2007.

Walker noted that there now have been 13 straight months of record passenger numbers at Mitchell International. “It is noteworthy that we saw a year-over-year increase in April passengers even though the peak Easter vacation week, which in 2007 was in April, fell in March this year,” said Walker.

Airport Director Barry Bateman said, “Airfares out of Milwaukee remain very competitive in spite of the fuel cost increases. He recommended that travelers book their tickets now for summer and fall travel, while ticket prices are still low.

Mitchell ranks among the top 10 percent of U.S. cities in number of nonstop destinations.

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. For more information on Mitchell International, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s Annual Significant Industrial User Honor Roll Recognizes General Mitchell International Airport

June 9, 2008

MILWAUKEE (June 9, 2008) – Milwaukee County’s General Mitchell International Airport (GMIA) received recognition as a member of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s annual Significant Industrial User Honor Roll for 2007.  This recognition is for major discharge into the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District system and is awarded to firms that are known to be in compliance with all the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regulations.  GMIA was praised for its diligence in ensuring that all airport operations comply with environmental standards that help to preserve Lake Michigan and its tributaries for future generations to enjoy.

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.  For more information on GMIA, visit www.mitchellairport.com.

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.