General Mitchell International Airport sits on 2,180 acres, and includes a Wisconsin Air National Guard base and air refueling wing. The airport has been owned by the county since 1926, and includes land used as a private airport as early as 1920.
There are 63 civilian aircraft based here, including 19 single-engine props, seven multi-engine props, and 37 jets. There are also twelve military aircraft based at KMKE. Flights are controlled by FAA air traffic controllers, with ATC services provided 24/7.
Operationally, traffic peaked in 1999 and has since declined by 40%. Commercial passenger flights peaked at 194K in 2005 but declined to 117K in 2012. The airlines provide direct service to feed all major hubs; the largest feeds are to Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver, Phoenix, Detroit, and LaGuardia. The airport has 48 gates and averages 160 commercial passenger departures per day. A Master Plan completed in 2006 calls for substantial terminal expansion, including two new concourses.
…The proposal is to increase daily fees by fifty cents with new daily fees ranging from $6.50 to $22.50. Excerpt: “The increase is needed to offset a decline in revenue due to a reduced number of passengers, according to Airport Director Barry Bateman. Passenger numbers are down because Frontier Airlines removed Mitchell as a hub and because of airline consolidations, he said.”
…Airline mergers are reducing the number of commercial flights out of Milwaukee. The airport authority has an opportunity to lower costs, by closing Concourse E, and consolidating the few flights onto Concourse D. However, given the uncertainty of the mergers, the current plan is no immediate changes.