Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley on Monday announced Milwaukee County employees on business trips would have to use Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) exclusively for arrivals and departures after a travel policy change.
“All travel arrangements should be made at the lowest available fare on nonstop or connecting flights departing from and/or arriving at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, consistent with reasonable and conservative business planning,” according to the county’s transportation reimbursement policy for its workers.
Choosing Milwaukee’s airport over a Chicago area terminal for example would add new flights, jobs and dollars to the state economy rather than sending them to Illinois, Crowley explained.
“This is a logical change. When County employees travel for work, they must use our community’s airport. If we all choose MKE over a Chicago airport, we could add dozens of new flights, hundreds of new jobs, and millions of dollars to Wisconsin’s economy, rather than sending those dollars to Illinois,” Crowley said in a statement.
Crowley called on businesses and units of government to follow the county’s lead and support the local airport.
“Today, I am calling on all businesses and units of government to follow our lead. Help support our hometown airport by requiring all employee travel to flow through MKE. As a result, we will see more economic impact and job growth in Milwaukee County, along with more flight options at Mitchell Airport,” Crowley added.
More than 5.5 million passengers used MKE in 2022 on an average of 246 flights per day across more than 30 nonstop destinations, making it the largest and busiest airport in Wisconsin, county officials said. MKE’s economic impact is around $3 billion each year and supports nearly 26,000 jobs in the Milwaukee area, county officials added.
MKE welcomed its newest private jet terminal Jet IN in April, an $11 million greenfield construction with a 40-year land lease with Milwaukee County.