ATW flying high on success

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GREENVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) - Eighty new, high paying, skilled labor jobs are coming to the Appleton area as Air Wisconsin announces a major expansion. The Appleton-based airline will begin construction next month on a 30,000 square foot maintenance hangar. The announcement is just the latest in a list of good news for Appleton International Airport.

Business is booming at Appleton International Airport. Air Wisconsin, which used to operate two regional jets out of Outagamie County, now houses four in the Fox Cities and needed extra hangar space to service the aircraft.

According to Christine Deister, President and CEO of Air Wisconsin, "It's clear that there's so much business growth here, that we operate for United Airlines as United Express, and they are adding more flights of ours into the area to bring people in from all over the world, quite frankly, and take people out all over the world."

That increase in passengers, not just on Air Wisconsin flights, but in and out of ATW on all airlines was recently recognized by Bloomberg. It ranked ATW as the fourth fastest-growing airport in the country.

"It does let the nation know that our airport is growing, our community is growing, and if they invest in our airport our community will support them," says Abe Weber, ATW Airport Director.

But the growth leading to the success of the Appleton airport isn't just in the increase in passengers. The airport is also undergoing a major renovation project.

Terminal improvements include the addition of a lobby cafe and bar, an upgraded gift shop, more meeting space, and a new TSA checkpoint. Airport officials say as the demand grows, so will the airport.

Weber adds, "We're going to continue to explore all of the partnerships we can. We have a lot of acreage here that we can develop. We also have a lot of opportunity on the air service front to continue to grow that, as long as our community continues to support our airport we'll continue to grow."