Appleton airport announces major expansion

The NFL draft and EAA AirVentures are expected to generate more air traffic
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 4:13 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - On the heels of the NFL choosing Green Bay as host of the 2025 NFL draft, officials revealed the construction of a new hangar at the Appleton Flight Center on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

While the airport experienced growth in scheduled flights, the new facility will be used for private and charter planes - which will help with all the expected draft-related traffic.

The planned expansion will benefit more than just the people traveling in and out of the private plane area, according to airport officials. They said it will also create jobs - as well as prepare for increased air traffic for EAA AirVenture and the 2025 NFL draft in Green Bay. Those events are estimated to make a combined economic impact of $370 million dollars.

“Just a hangar. That’s what most people would say, it’s just a hangar. But what this means is that we are taking advantage of over $170 million of economic activity happening south of here in Oshkosh in July,” said Tom Nelson, Outagamie County Executive.

“We have always been ahead of the curve, we have always viewed the work that we’ve done here, the mission that we seek to accomplish as economic development, as job creation, and not just for Outagamie County but for the entire region,” Tom Nelson added.

The $7.2 million expansion project is funded by the 2022 Cares Act.

“We’ve really invested in the customer experience, we’ve invested in the facilities, and it’s really starting to pay off with more people choosing to fly into Appleton Airport,” noted Abe Weber, Director, Appleton International Airport.

Tom Nelson continued: “We have been building this reputation over the last ten years that when it comes to this type of aviation service, that they can count on the Appleton International Airport.”

The airport reported a 10 percent increase in private planes landing in the first three months of 2023.

“In the past five years, Maxair has seen huge growth. We started out with two turboprops, we are now at 15 aircraft,” commented Lisa Betley, Inside Sales Coordinator, Maxair Corporation.

“This hangar is going to be a big part of our future growth as well as accommodating the growth that we’ve seen,” Abe Weber added.

Things are already moving forward quickly - construction has begun, and the airport expects the project to be completed by fall of 2023.