GREENVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) - "We are standing in the middle, in the heart, of the most important and most significant piece of economic real estate in Northeast Wisconsin," says Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson about Appleton International Airport. And, its value is only expected to increase as the airport breaks ground on an expansion project.
Walls are coming down to make room for a $6.8-million expansion at Appleton International Airport.
"For over 600,000 passengers, each year, our terminal building is the doorstep for the Fox Cities and Northeast Wisconsin," says Airport Director Abe Weber.
In the past five years, ATW has seen a nearly 30% increase in passengers, but that's not all.
Weber adds, "We've been really aggressive in the air service front. We've added a destination, we've added an airline, and we've had larger aircraft come in as well as additional flights."
Those additions were the driving force for the nearly $7-million expansion project. In addition to renovations to the ticket counter and baggage claim, the expansion includes the addition of one more security checkpoint. A new restaurant and gift shop and conference room space along with a mother's room is being added too.
With more out-of-towners coming to the Fox Valley, the expansion also includes the addition of a customer service center.
According to Abe Weber, "Our customers can find key landmarks in the community when they come to visit, like the Performing Arts Center, Bergstrom-Mahler, or the Windmill in Little Chute."
Right now, ATW brings upwards of $700-million a year in local economic activity. The expansion and renovation are a testament to the importance of the airport here and why federal, state, and airport funds are being invested in its future.
Tom Nelson says, "Day in and day out, there is a full commitment in the Fox Valley and Outagamie County and beyond to get behind our airport and that's a big reason why we've seen such success here."
The expansion project is expected to be completed by next summer.