Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport
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Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport
Mitchell Field
Milwaukee Mitchell Intl Airport Logo.jpeg
General Mitchell International Airport - Wisconsin.jpg
2006 USGS orthophoto
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerMilwaukee County
OperatorMilwaukee County Airport Department
ServesMilwaukee, WI.
Location5300 South Howell Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Hub forFreight Runners Express
Elevation AMSL729 ft / 222 m
Coordinates42°56?50?N 087°53?48?W / 42.94722°N 87.89667°W / 42.94722; -87.89667
Websitewww.MitchellAirport.com
Maps
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
MKE is located in Wisconsin
MKE
MKE
Location of airport in Wisconsin, United States
MKE is located in the United States
MKE
MKE
MKE (the United States)
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
01L/19R 9,990 3,045 Asphalt/concrete
01R/19L 4,183 1,275 Asphalt/concrete
07L/25R 4,800 1,463 Asphalt/concrete
07R/25L 8,300 2,530 Asphalt/concrete
13/31 5,535 1,687 Asphalt/concrete
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 100 30 Asphalt/concrete
Statistics (2019)
Total passengers6,894,894
Aircraft operations109,024
Cargo (lb.)164,352,646
Source: Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport[1]

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (IATA: MKE, ICAO: KMKE, FAA LID: MKE) is a civil-military airport 5 miles (8 km) south of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.[2] It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2019-2023, in which it is categorized as a medium-hub primary commercial service facility.[3] Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport covers 2,180 acres (880 ha) and has five asphalt and concrete runways.

The airport is named in honor of United States Army General Billy Mitchell, who was raised in Milwaukee and is often regarded as the father of the United States Air Force.[4][5] Along with being the primary airport for Milwaukee, Mitchell International is also used by travelers throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.[6] Since March 1941, the airport's weather station has been used as the official point for Milwaukee weather observations and records by the National Weather Service, whose area office is located in Sullivan.[7]

History

Plaque in Concourse E, dedicated by the defunct North Central Airlines.

The original airfield was established in 1920 as Hamilton Airport by local business owner and aviator, Thomas F. Hamilton. Milwaukee County purchased the land on October 19, 1926 and renamed the airport Milwaukee County Airport.[5] The first airport terminal there, the Hirschbuehl Farmhouse, opened in July 1927. That month, Northwest Airlines, Inc., began air service from Milwaukee to Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul. In August 1927, world-renowned aviator Charles Lindbergh visited the Milwaukee airport. Kohler Aviation Corporation began providing passenger service across Lake Michigan on August 31, 1929.

During the late depression years (1938-July 1940), a new two-story passenger terminal building was constructed by the Works Progress Administration. On March 17, 1941 the airport was renamed General Mitchell Field after Milwaukee native and air power advocate Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell.[8] On January 4, 1945, Mitchell Field was leased to the War Department for use as a World War II prisoner-of-war camp. Over 3,000 prisoners and 250 enlisted men stayed at the work camp. Escaped German prisoners were often surprised to find a large German American population just beyond the fence.[9]

The present terminal opened on July 20, 1955 and was designed by Leigh Fisher and Associates.[10] It was renovated and expanded in 1985, designed by Miller, Meier, Kenyon, Cooper Architects and Planners Inc.[11] The "hammerhead" section of the D concourse was added in 1990.

On June 19, 1986 the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors renamed the airport General Mitchell International Airport.[8] The airport was formerly a hub for AirTran Airways, Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines. The airport is owned and operated by Milwaukee County, but some Milwaukee business leaders and politicians have advocated privatization or leasing it to a third party for financial reasons.[12]

In February 2019, the airport was renamed from "General Mitchell International Airport" to "Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport," a rebranding meant to highlight the airport's location;[13][14][15][16] the old name is still used by the FAA and US government.

Expansion

Mitchell International expanded the runway safety area at the end of the runways after an accident on January 21, 2007, when Northwest Airlines Flight 1726 skidded off the runway following an aborted takeoff. According to the FAA, most airports are encouraged to have a runway safety area no shorter than 1,000 feet (305 m), though many airports do not. Construction of the runway safety areas began at the end of summer 2009 and was completed in fall 2012.

There was also a "Master Plan" idea to increase the terminal area by stretching the existing terminal (in some cases, to almost double the size) or begin construction of a separate terminal. Nearly all cases would involve major reconstruction on the airport itself, and would have a huge impact on the airport's traffic.[17] These plans were, however, drafted before Mitchell saw a significant reduction in carriers and flights. More recently, in 2012, there were discussions of closing one concourse as a cost-cutting move.[18]

The approved 2018 Milwaukee County Budget contains initial funding for replacement of the now-closed Concourse E with a new International Terminal. It will replace the current International Arrivals Terminal (IAT) which has limited capacity and is not connected to the main terminal building.[19] The new terminal is planned to open in 2020 after the demolition of Concourse E is completed.[20] During October 2018, airport and Milwaukee County officials set a timeline for design, construction and completion of the new International terminal. Pre-design work and bidding concluded in November 2018, with construction set to begin in early 2021 and likely concluding in mid-2022.[21] In May 2020, Milwaukee County announced that the start of the project would be postponed; a new start date is yet to be determined.[22]

Facilities

Terminal

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport has one terminal with two concourses and 38 gates.[23] All international arrivals lacking border pre-clearance must pass through the International Arrivals Building.

The terminal houses the Mitchell Gallery of Flight (a non-profit museum) and a USO room on the concession level, along with the usual retail outlets, including a small food court and a branch of Renaissance Books which is believed to be the world's first used book store in an airport.[24] There are play areas for children throughout the facility.[25] An observation lot along the northern edge of the airport is open to the public and tower communications are rebroadcast using a low-power FM transmitter for visitors to tune in on their car radios. There is also a new lot on 6th Street, with a Wisconsin historical marker giving the airport's history.[26]

In April 2017, all airlines housed in Concourse E began moving to Concourse C. This would allow the airport to remodel the concourse and move International Arrivals processing into the terminal. Following redevelopment of Concourse E, the current International Arrivals Building just north of the main terminals will close.[27]

Ground transportation

The Milwaukee Airport Rail Station provides service to Milwaukee as well as Chicago.

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport is accessible from I-41/I-94 and WIS 38 via WIS 119.

  • Badger Coaches has frequent trips between Mitchell Airport, Downtown Milwaukee, Madison, Johnson Creek and Goerkes Corners.[28]
  • Airport Connection has routes from the Airport to the Amtrak Station, the Milwaukee Airport Rail Station (MKA), parking lots, Sheboygan and the Fox Valley Area.[29]
  • Milwaukee County Transit System The Green Line MetroExpress offers service to downtown and north shore suburbs. Regular Route 80 also serves the Airport (from Oak Creek to downtown and north side).[30]
  • Amtrak has a station 3/4 of a mile from the airport and uses the Hiawatha Service.[31] Free shuttle buses go between the train station and the baggage claim.
  • Amtrak has a Thruway Bus Service that calls at Mitchell International serving Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton, and Green Bay. Its main purpose is to allow passengers from those cities to connect with Amtrak trains in downtown Milwaukee. However it offers service to/from Mitchell as a convenience to passengers - obviating the need for a 10-minute train ride and associated transfers.[32]
  • Wisconsin Coach Lines, as Airport Express, operates frequently to O'Hare Airport (ORD) in Chicago and from Waukesha, Milwaukee (Downtown and the Amtrak/Greyhound Station), Racine and Kenosha.[33]
  • Lamers Bus Lines, as Lamers Connect, operates daily service to/from Wausau with stops in Milwaukee (Downtown Amtrak/Greyhound Station), Fond du Lac, Oshkosh (including a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh stop), Appleton, Waupaca and Stevens Point (including a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point stop).[34]

Military

The airport also hosts the General Mitchell Air National Guard Base on the eastern area of the airport property, home to the 128th Air Refueling Wing (128 ARW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the Wisconsin Air National Guard flying the KC-135R Stratotanker. The wing performs both Federal and State missions and consists of approximately 1000 Air National Guard personnel, both full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technicians (ART), as well as traditional part-time guardsmen, available for worldwide deployment in support of Air Mobility Command and combatant commander tasking. The wing also maintains a KC-135 flight simulator, providing training proficiency for its own crews, as well as other KC-135 flight crews in other air refueling wings and air mobility wings in the Regular U.S. Air Force, the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard.

Prior to 2007, a second military installation on the southwestern portion of the airport property was known as "General Mitchell Air Reserve Station" and was home to the 440th Airlift Wing (440 AW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) flying the C-130H Hercules. While based at General Mitchell ARS, the 440 AW numbered in excess of 1500 full-time AGR, ART and part-time traditional reservists. Pursuant to 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) action, the 440 AW relocated to Pope AFB, North Carolina, in 2007 and the former AFRC facilities were turned over to the Air National Guard, resulting in the installation's renaming.

Airlines and destinations

Passenger

Cargo

Cargo ramp at Mitchell International Airport

Statistics

Airline market share

Largest airlines at MKE (July 2019 - June 2020)[38]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 2,064,000 42.12%
2 Delta Air Lines 967,000 20.06%
3 SkyWest Airlines 433,000 8.99%
4 Frontier Airlines 331,000 6.86%
5 American Airlines 312,000 6.47%
6 Other 714,000 14.81%

Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from MKE (July 2019 - June 2020)[38]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 286,000 Delta, Southwest
2 Denver, Colorado 208,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
3 Phoenix, Arizona 160,000 American, Frontier, Southwest
4 Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota 156,000 Delta
5 Orlando, Florida 146,000 Frontier, Southwest
6 Chicago-O'Hare, Illinois 140,000 American, United
7 Detroit, Michigan 117,000 Delta
8 Las Vegas, Nevada 111,000 Frontier, Southwest
9 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 102,000 American
10 New York-La Guardia, New York 102,000 Delta, Southwest

Accidents and incidents

  • On December 17, 1954, a Miller Brewing Company plane, a converted twin-engine Lockheed Ventura bound for Winnipeg on a Friday evening, had trouble with both engines and crashed shortly after takeoff from Mitchell Field.[39][40] All four on board were killed, which included company president Fred Miller and his oldest son, 20-year-old Fred, Jr.,[41] and the two company pilots, brothers Joseph and Paul Laird.[42][43]
  • On August 4, 1968, a Convair CV-580, flying as North Central Airlines flight 261, collided in mid-air with a privately owned Cessna 150. The Cessna cabin remained attached to the Convair's forward baggage compartment. The Convair made a safe emergency landing at Milwaukee. The three Cessna occupants were killed. The Cessna was on a VFR flight from Lombard, Illinois to Sheboygan County Memorial Airport in Sheboygan Falls. It was determined that the inability of the Convair 580 flight crew to detect the Cessna 150 visually in sufficient time to take evasive action, despite having been provided with three radar traffic advisories, caused the crash. Visual detection capabilities were reduced by the heavy accumulation of insect smears on the windows of the Convair. Visibility was further reduced by haze, smoke and sunglare, and by the inconspicuous colour and lack of relative motion of the Cessna.
  • On January 29, 1969, a Boeing KC-97, operated by the Wisconsin Air National Guard, crashed just short of the runway on final approach. The weather was foggy with a visibility of a half mile. Four of the 11 people on board were killed and the plane was damaged beyond repair.[44]
  • On January 22, 1971, Northwest Airlines Flight 433 was hijacked after taking off from Milwaukee to Detroit, Michigan. The hijacker demanded to be taken to Algeria, but landed in Cuba.[45]
  • On September 6, 1985, Midwest Express Flight 105, Midwest's first and only fatal accident, crashed upon takeoff from Milwaukee. One of the airline's Douglas DC-9s crashed while taking off, bound for Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport. According to NTSB reports, the crash was caused by improper pilot reaction when the plane's right engine failed due to stress corrosion cracking. The improper flight control inputs caused an uncommanded roll and accelerated stall. The 31 people on board died.[46]
  • On December 10, 1993, a Wisconsin Air National Guard KC-135 blew up on the ground. Six maintenance personnel died.
  • In early August 1997, an SR-71 declared an in-air emergency prior to a fly-by at the Oshkosh Airshow and diverted to General Mitchell International Airport. No one was hurt in the incident.[47]
  • On August 31, 2005, a Midwest Airlines Boeing 717 bumped a weed spraying truck and damaged the plane's left wing. No one was hurt in the incident.
  • On January 21, 2007, a Northwest Airlines DC-9, Northwest Airlines Flight 1726 skidded 400 feet (120 m) off the end of a snowy runway at Milwaukee International Airport. The accident was due to an explosion in one of the engines, forcing the pilot to abort takeoff. The aircraft was headed for Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and was to continue on to Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Amongst the 104 people aboard, only one back injury was reported.[48][49]
  • On January 23, 2007, two Freight Runners Express cargo planes collided and burned on a taxiway. Both pilots were able to escape without injury. The planes were a Cessna 402 and a Beech 99.[50] An NTSB investigation determined both pilots and air traffic control were at fault for the accident.
  • On June 4, 2007, a Cessna Citation II crashed after reporting a runaway trim tab. The pilot issued a distress signal within five minutes after taking off. The plane then crashed into Lake Michigan two miles (3 km) off shore. The plane was carrying an organ transplant team from the University of Michigan back to Willow Run Airport. There was a crew of two and four passengers aboard. All six died.
  • On September 12, 2008, at 7:13 PM, a Cirrus SR22 heading from Milwaukee bound for Lakeland Airport in Vilas County crashed half of a mile southwest of the airport. All three people on board died.

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ "MILWAUKEE MITCHELL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT YEARLY DATA - 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for MKE PDF, effective May 21, 2020.
  3. ^ "NPIAS Report 2019-2023 Appendix A" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. October 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Jones, Meg. "Milwaukee's Billy Mitchell predicted Pearl Harbor attack". Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ a b Dorcey, John. "Milwaukee's First Airport". Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Mitchell airport attracting more passengers from northern Illinois". Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "Threaded Extremes". Threadex.rcc-acis.org. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Historic Markers - General Mitchell Field WI221". Milwaukee County Historical Society. 1978. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2006.
  9. ^ Cowley, Betty (2002). Stalag Wisconsin: Inside WW II prisoner-of-war camps. Oregon, Wisconsin: Badger Books. ISBN 1-878569-83-X. OCLC 48998212.
  10. ^ "Here's the Program". Milwaukee Journal. July 21, 1955. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ Jesen, Dean (July 25, 1985). "Airport Terminal to Open Sunday". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved 2012.
  12. ^ Kirchen, Rich (September 21, 2008). "Lubar: Sell Airport to Eliminate Milwaukee County Deficit". Milwaukee Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2009.
  13. ^ Klopf, Rebecca (February 5, 2019). "Milwaukee airport quietly changes its name". NBC26. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ News, FOX6. "Mitchell International Airport drops 'General' from name, adds Milwaukee". NBC15. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ ""General" dropped from airport's name, now "Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport"". CBS58. February 5, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ Leary, Patrick. "MKE rebranding to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, dropping 'General'". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "Master Plan Update". General Mitchell International Airport. July 28, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 26, 2012. Retrieved 2008.
  18. ^ "Mitchell proposes closing one concourse". Milwaukee Business Journal. October 5, 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ "Milwaukee County's 2018 budget includes $25 million for new terminal at Mitchell International Airport". jsonline.com. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ "5040-Airport Budget Report" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ Leary, Patrick (October 16, 2018). "Process to turn shuttered Mitchell airport concourse into new international terminal begins". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ Naczek, Margaret. "Mitchell airport reports 96% drop in passengers in April". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2020. The airport recently reported that as a result of the drastic passenger traffic declines, it had to postpone the start of its E Concourse construction, which would transform the concourse into an international terminal.
  23. ^ "INTERACTIVE TERMINAL GUIDE". Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "The Challenge of Airport Bookselling", Publishers Weekly, July 13, 1984
  25. ^ Snyder, Molly (May 21, 2015). "Mitchell airport boasts world's only "recombobulation area" signs". Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ "State Historical marker #221" (PDF). Wisconsin History. Retrieved 2008.
  27. ^ "Milwaukee airport to get new international terminal". Milwaukee WI: WISN. WISN News. July 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016. United Airlines and Air Canada, both of which currently operate from Concourse E, will move to Concourse C
  28. ^ "Wisconsin Bus Charters". Badger Coaches. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  29. ^ "MKE Airport Connection". Airport Connection. Retrieved 2008.
  30. ^ "MCTS". Milwaukee County Transit System. Retrieved 2012.
  31. ^ "Milwaukee Airport Station". Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WISDOT). Archived from the original on September 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  32. ^ "Amtrak Thruway I-41 Bus Service". Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WISDOT).
  33. ^ "Wisconsin Coach service". Coach USA. Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  34. ^ "Lamers Connect". Lamers Bus Lines. Retrieved 2012.
  35. ^ https://onemileatatime.com/american-airlines-warm-weather-winter-routes/#new_american_airlines_phoenix_routes
  36. ^ https://hub.united.com/2020-08-12-adjusting-to-customer-demand-united-adds-new-nonstop-service-to-florida-2646962841.html
  37. ^ https://hub.united.com/2020-08-12-adjusting-to-customer-demand-united-adds-new-nonstop-service-to-florida-2646962841.html
  38. ^ a b "RITA BTS Transtats - MKE". www.transtats.bts.gov. Bureau Of Transportation Statistics. February 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ "Fred Miller, son die in fiery plane crash". Milwaukee Sentinel. December 18, 1954. p. 1.
  40. ^ "Fred C. Miller, son killed in air crash". Milwaukee Journal. December 18, 1954. p. 1.
  41. ^ "Fred Miller, Jr., versatile athlete". Milwaukee Sentinel. December 18, 1954. p. 2.
  42. ^ "Pilots buried side by side". Milwaukee Journal. December 20, 1954. p. 2.
  43. ^ "CAB findings in Miller crash". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 18, 1955. p. 1, part 2.
  44. ^ "Aircraft Accident Boeing KC-97". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2015.
  45. ^ Hijacking description at the Aviation Safety Network
  46. ^ "Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105". National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Retrieved 2008.
  47. ^ Francey, Dave (February 21, 2019). "Stories of Oshkosh - Dave Francey". Inspire EAA. Retrieved 2019.
  48. ^ Johnson, Mark; Kissinger, Meg (January 22, 2007). "Scared to Death". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved 2008.
  49. ^ Sandler, Larry (January 22, 2007). "Safety Won't Come Easy - 3 Mitchell Runways Don't Meet Federal Standards, but Compliance by 2015 Means Navigating Multiple Obstacles". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. Retrieved 2008. (republished by Hall & Associates)
  50. ^ "Cargo Planes Collide, Burn at Milwaukee Airport". FOX News. January 24, 2007. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved 2008.
  • "Midwest Airlines, Virgin's GlobalFlyer". Airliners. Miami: World Transport Press (94). July-August 2005. ISSN 0896-6575. OCLC 17241224.

Further reading

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Milwaukee_Mitchell_International_Airport
 



 



 
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