Comment: This is more of your money, folks. Only 4 of the 18 voted against the increase. How did YOUR county supervisor vote? How did that person present themselves when they knocked on your door while they were campaigning? Find out who they are here: http://county.milwaukee.gov/CountyBoard
County approves fee increase at Mitchell Airport
By Steve Schultze of the Journal Sentinel July 29, 2012
You might not notice it when you buy a plane ticket, but a $3 per flight fee at Mitchell International Airport will likely soon rise by 50% to $4.50.
The “passenger facility charge” increase is needed to help cover growing costs of airport improvement projects that relate to airport safety, reducing congestion or airplane noise abatement efforts, said airport Manager C. Barry Bateman.
Though the $4.50 applies to tickets for flights that take off in Milwaukee, the passenger fees can add up to a maximum of $18 for a round trip that includes switching planes. A nonstop, round-trip flight would carry a total of $9 in passenger fees.
Among projects for which the higher fee is being sought for Mitchell are the $22 million expansion of Concourse D, a $2.7 million expansion of the plane taxiway serving Concourse C and $9.2 million for gate expansions on Concourse C. Those projects are largely completed.
The fee is expected to boost revenue to about $17 million next year, airport spokeswoman Pat Rowe said Friday. The $3 fee brought in $13 million last year. Fewer flights from Mitchell as a result of airline consolidations and Frontier Airlines’ decision to no longer have Milwaukee as a hub would result in lower passenger fee reve nue if the increase weren’t granted, according to Bateman.
The County Board approved the increase last week with no discussion. Four supervisors voted against the increase: Mark Borkowski, Joe Sanfelippo, Jim “Luigi” Schmitt and Steve F. Taylor. It now goes County Executive Chris Abele and the Federal Aviation Administration for final approvals. Mitchell officials expect to get the federal OK by Nov. 1.
Bateman said Mitchell was late to seek approval for the passenger fee increase, which was authorized by Congress in 2001. All other airports in Wisconsin and those in Chicago already collect the higher fee, he said.
“We’re kind of ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ here,” Bateman told the County Board’s transportation committee.