An aircraft takes off from the
Waukesha County Airport Tuesday afternoon.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
Waukesha County Airport will be closed for at least 20 days next
year due to construction on two new hangars, and it won’t have
the use of its main runway for three months as it undergoes
the 2015 capital projects plan, the county has set aside
$540,000 for upgrades to the Terminal Building and Control
Tower, and another $140,000 to complete a ramp expansion “to
accommodate the construction of additional corporate aircraft
Plans for the
hangars have not been finalized, but the construction is
expected to begin in 2015.
Director of Public Works Allison Bussler told the county’s
Finance Committee Tuesday that the new hangars will be the first
such additions to the airport, also known as Crites Field, in
several years, calling the project a “big movement for us” while
estimating they could bring in as much as $45,000 annually to
the county in revenue.
of closing the airport temporarily, however, has left some of
its tenants less than pleased.
“We have heard
some pushback from some of our tenants who are paying us rent
every month to be at a closed airport,” Bussler said. “We are
working hard to keep our customers during this time period
because we know some of them will be going temporarily to
Mitchell Field or other places. We are doing our best to sell
this as an opportunity.”
The Waukesha County Airport will be closed for at least 20
days in 2015
during construction projects.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
Operations Manager Kurt Stanich has worked with fellow airport
managers from across the country whom he says have offered
suggestions on ways for the county to keep its customers from
relocating permanently. Two possibilities mentioned included a
grand reopening of the airport or a one-month discount on
tenants’ rent, he said.
his staff aggressively market the airport, he said, not just to
its current tenants, but also to any other potential customers
in the area.
some of the county’s more “sophisticated” business partners at
Crites Field have expressed their understanding that the
renovations to the runway and the potential new hangars are
what’s best for the airport’s long-term usability.
reconstruction to the 5,850-foot concrete runway 10/28, which
was announced earlier this year, will allow he pavement to
handle heavier loads from aircraft. This means planes will be
able to carry and purchase more fuel, which combined with land
use accounts for approximately 75 percent of the airport’s
annual revenue, said Stanich.
with the runway that we have, a lot of the business jets are
weight-restricted, so they take lower fuel amounts,” he said.
“With the reconstruction we will go from 66,000 pounds of
landing weight up to 100,000. So a lot of these jets can take
more fuel than they are now.”