|General Mitchell International Airport
|2006 USGS Orthophoto|
|IATA: MKE ICAO: KMKE FAA LID: MKE|
|Location||5300 South Howell Avenue
|Hub for||Freight Runners Express|
|Elevation AMSL||723 ft / 220 m|
|Sources: airport web site and FAA|
General Mitchell International Airport (IATA: MKE, ICAO: KMKE, FAA LID: MKE) is a county-owned, joint civil-military, public airport located five miles (8 km) south of the central business district of Milwaukee, a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States.
It is named after United States Army Air Service General Billy Mitchell, who was raised in Milwaukee and is often regarded as the father of the United States Air Force. Along with being the primary airport for Milwaukee, Mitchell International has sometimes been described as Chicago's third airport, as many travelers in the suburbs north of Chicago use it as an alternative to Chicago O'Hare and Chicago Midway. It is also used by travellers throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. An Amtrak railway station opened at the airport in 2005; the station is served by Amtrak's Hiawatha Service line running between Chicago and Milwaukee several times daily.
The original airfield was established in 1920 as Hamilton Airport by business owner Thomas Hamilton. Milwaukee County purchased the land on October 19, 1926, for the Milwaukee County Airport. Kohler Aviation Corporation began providing passenger service across Lake Michigan on August 31, 1929. A passenger terminal was later constructed in 1940, and on March 17, 1941, the airport was renamed General Mitchell Field after Milwaukee's military airpower advocate, Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell. On January 4, 1945, Mitchell Field was leased to the War Department for use as a World War II prisoner-of-war camp. Over 3,000 prisoners and 250 enlisted men stayed at the work camp. Escaped German prisoners were often surprised to find a large German population just beyond the fence. The present terminal opened on July 20, 1955 and designed by Leigh Fisher and Associates. It was renovated and expanded significantly in 1985, which was designed by Miller, Meier, Kenyon, Cooper Architects and Planners Inc. The "hammerhead" section of the D concourse was added in 1990. On June 19, 1986, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors officially renamed Mitchell Field to General Mitchell International Airport.
The airport is still owned and operated by Milwaukee County; however, some Milwaukee business leaders and politicians have advocated privatization or leasing Mitchell Field to a third party for financial reasons.
In October 2008, a Condé Nast Traveler poll ranked Milwaukee Countys General Mitchell International Airport fourth in the nation using categories of Location and Access, Design, Customs and Baggage, Perceived Safety and Security, as well as Food, Shops and Amenities.
Mitchell International is expanding the runway safety area on their runways after an accident on January 21, 2007, when Northwest Airlines Flight 1726 skidded off the runway after aborting takeoff. According to the FAA, most airports are encouraged to have a runway safety area no shorter than 1,000 feet (305 m), although many airports do not meet this requirement.
Construction to provide this runway safety area began at the end of the summer of 2009. Work was completed in the fall of 2012.
There is also a "Master Plan" idea to significantly increase terminal area by either stretching the existing terminal (in some cases, to almost double the size) or begin construction of an entirely separate terminal. Nearly all cases will involve major reconstruction on the airport itself, and will have a huge impact on the airport's future traffic.
General Mitchell International Airport covers an area of 2,180 acres (880 ha) which contains five asphalt and concrete paved runways ranging in length from 4,183 to 9,690 ft (1,463 to 2,954 m). The 07R/25L runway has an overpass with Wisconsin State Trunk Highway 38 (Howell Avenue locally) running underneath. For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2005, the airport had 219,114 aircraft operations, an average of 600 per day: 56% air taxi, 32% scheduled commercial, 10% general aviation and 1% military. The main building houses the Mitchell Gallery of Flight, a non-profit museum on the concession level; the usual retail outlets, including a small food court; and a branch of Renaissance Books which is believed to be the world's first used book store in an airport. An observation lot along the northern edge of the airport is open to the public, and tower communications are rebroadcast using a low-power FM transmitter for visitors to tune in on their car radios. A Wisconsin historical marker documenting the airport's history is also located there. In 2008, airport security designated a "Recombobulation Area" in Concourse C.
General Mitchell International Airport has 48 gates and 40 jetbridges on 3 concourses in one terminal. All international arrivals lacking border preclearance must pass through the International Arrivals Building.
Southwest Airlines (including subsidiary AirTran) is the largest carrier at the airport. Delta Air Lines also has a sizable presence.
|Air Canada Express operated by Jazz Air||Toronto-Pearson||E|
|AirTran Airways operated by Southwest Airlines||Atlanta, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Washington-National
Seasonal: Boston, Cancún, New Orleans
|American Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth||C|
|American Eagle||Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth||C|
|AmericanConnection operated by Chautauqua Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare||C|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Seasonal: Cancún, Orlando
|Delta Connection operated by ExpressJet||New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia||D|
|Delta Connection operated by Compass Airlines||New York-LaGuardia||D|
|Delta Connection operated by GoJet Airlines||New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia||D|
|Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines||Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, New York-JFK||D|
|Delta Connection operated by Shuttle America||New York-LaGuardia||D|
|Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines||Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis||D|
|Southwest Airlines||Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, St. Louis
Seasonal: New Orleans, Tampa
|United Express operated by ExpressJet Airlines||Cleveland, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark||E|
|United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental||E|
|US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin||Charlotte, Philadelphia||D|
|US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines||Charlotte||D|
|AirNet Systems||Chicago-Midway, Green Bay, St. Paul-Downtown|
|CSA Air||Marquette, Escanaba, Iron Mountain, Rhinelander|
|FedEx Express||Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul|
|Freight Runners Express||Appleton, Bloomington-Normal, Dillon, Green Bay, Lake Delton, Madison, Marinette/Menomonie, Rhinelander, Stevens Point, Wausau, Rochester (MN)|
|Martinaire||Iron Mountain, Ironwood|
|Royal Air Freight||Pontiac|
The airport also hosts the General Mitchell Air National Guard Base on the eastern area of the airport property, home to the 128th Air Refueling Wing (128 ARW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the Wisconsin Air National Guard flying the KC-135R Stratotanker. The wing performs both Federal and State missions and consists of approximately 1000 Air National Guard personnel, both full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technicians (ART), as well as traditional part-time guardsmen, available for worldwide deployment in support of Air Mobility Command and combatant commander tasking. The wing also maintains a KC-135 flight simulator, providing training profciency for its own crews as well as other KC-135 flight crews in other air refueling wings and air mobility wings in the Regular U.S. Air Force, the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard.
Prior to 2007, a second military installation on the southwestern portion of the airport property was known as "General Mitchell Air Reserve Station" and was home to the 440th Airlift Wing (440 AW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) flying the C-130H Hercules. While based at General Mitchell ARS, the 440 AW numbered in excess of 1500 full-time AGR, ART and part-time traditional reservists. Pursuant to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 action, the 440 AW relocated to Pope AFB, North Carolina in 2007 and the former AFRC facilities were turned over to the Air National Guard, resulting in the installation's renaming.
U.S. Department of Transportation data for 2nd Quarter 2010 (most recent) show that the average airfare out of Milwaukee dropped lower than the average at 93 other U.S. airports. Mitchell's average fare was $93 less than O'Hare's, $78 less than the nation's average and $10 less than Midway's. Out of the nation's top 100 airports, Mitchell was one of only three at which average 2nd Quarter airfares were lower in 2010 than in 2009.
Airports Council International reported that during the 2nd Quarter 2010, Mitchell was the third fastest-growing airport in the world, exceeded only by airports in Istanbul, Turkey and Moscow, Russia. Mitchell was the only U.S. airport among the top 30 fastest growing airports worldwide.
The airport is owned and operated by Milwaukee County. Mitchell's 10 airlines offer over 200 daily departures. Over 50 airports are served nonstop or direct from Mitchell International. It is the largest airport in Wisconsin. The airport terminal is open 24 hours a day.
|1||Atlanta, Georgia||435,000||AirTran, Delta|
|2||Minneapolis, Minnesota||337,000||Delta, Southwest|
|3||Denver, Colorado||292,000||Frontier, Southwest, United|
|4||Phoenix, Arizona||215,000||Southwest, US Airways|
|5||New York (LaGuardia), New York||198,000||Delta, Southwest|
|6||Las Vegas, Nevada||177,000||Southwest|
|7||Orlando, Florida||174,000||AirTran, Delta, Southwest|
|8||Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois||173,000||American, United|
|10||Washington (National), D.C.||145,000||AirTran|
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