Outagamie County Regional Enhancing GA Services

November 1, 2013

With its two long runways, relatively flat terrain, limited commercial service and a new “green” general aviation (GA) terminal, Wisconsin’s Outagamie County Regional Airport (ATW) is hoping to attract more business aviation operations to its 1,700 acres just west of Appleton.

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve made significant investment in the south side of the airport, where we are shifting general aviation development,” said Airport Director Abe Weber. The latest enhancement, an 8,000-square-foot, one-and-a-half story Net Zero Energy general aviation terminal, joins new taxiways, T-hangars, ground services and other improvements for GA operators on the airport’s south side.

The airport-owned FBO, Platinum Flight Center, is a full-service facility, with maintenance, flight training and charter operations. The new building, which had its grand opening on Oct. 15, utilizes geothermal heating and cooling, a roof-mounted solar photovoltaic display and locally sourced materials, among many other environmentally friendly features.

“Previously, the general aviation terminal was landlocked by other properties and could not expand,” said Weber, noting that there is now room for GA expansion on the airport’s south side.

From a safety and security standpoint, the new facility also allows ATW’s GA users to be somewhat separate from the airport’s commercial operations.

Outagamie County Regional Airport has about a dozen commercial operations daily. Charter flights bringing teams to nearby Green Bay also are not uncommon, and during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture Oshkosh show in the summer, more than 300 GA aircraft are usually parked at ATW, which is only 20 miles away from the event.

Companies with flight departments at ATW include Bemis Company, MaxAir Charter and Kimberly-Clark, which just built a large hangar and office space next to the new GA terminal, Weber said. Gulfstream Aerospace occupies three facilities at ATW, performing final phase manufacturing and maintenance on their pre- and post-production aircraft.

“It’s a priority of ours to attract more flight departments and based services,” said Weber.

“We commend Outagamie County on the vision for, and opening of, the new general aviation terminal, and its focus on service and support for business aircraft operations in Northeast Wisconsin,” said Bob Quinn, NBAA’s central region representative.

Quinn noted that according to a 2008 Wisconsin Department of Transportation study, Outagamie County Regional Airport contributed $428 million in economic output, 2,829 jobs and $123.5 million in wage income to the local and state economies.