Touching Bases: Waukesha Airport taking greater strides

 - May 19, 2008, 7:57 AM

“Since the improvements, we have clearly become Milwaukee’s third airport,” said John Lotzer, owner of Waukesha (Wis.) Flying Services. “We have the advantage of being only 10 miles west of the city’s business center without the noise restrictions applied to Timmerman Field or the traffic of Mitchell International.”

The improvements cited by Lotzer are part of a 25-year plan and have included, so far, runway and ramp expansion, installation of an ILS and the construction of a new 20,000-sq-ft terminal. Still to come are further runway expansion and safety area improvements. Those projects are expected to cost some $26 million, funded by a combination of federal, state and local money.

Waukesha Flying Service, the sole FBO on the field, has tripled its business over the past 10 years. Last year the facility pumped more than 800,000 gal of Phillips 66 aviation fuel.

Also in the past five years, local corporations and private businesses have constructed six new corporate hangars (tripling the number of jets based at UES), and 40 T-hangars were added, all of which are now occupied.

The control tower is operational from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the airport is served by Milwaukee Approach radar service. After hours, the runway lights are pilot controlled and there is an on-airport link to clearance delivery through Milwaukee Approach. In addition to the ILS, there are VOR and NDB nonprecision approaches to the 5,850- by 100-ft main runway. A second 3,599- by 75-ft runway is also available.