Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Outagamie County Regional (KATW), Appleton, Wisconsin: Airport celebrates new general aviation terminal


 GREENVILLE — The general aviation terminal at Outagamie County Regional Airport often serves as the gateway to the Fox Valley for corporate executives who travel to the area for business. 

 Outagamie County officials and other dignitaries on Tuesday celebrated the grand-opening of a new $3.6 million facility, which replaces the Platinum Flight Center terminal built in 1963.

“We’re very excited for the opportunities that this building will provide us by the way of sustainability initiatives to really push us into the future, marketing opportunities as well as the first impression for many as they step into the Fox Valley area,” said Outagamie County airport director Abe Weber.

The 8,000-square-foot terminal, along with a 12,000-square-foot hangar, fulfills the airport’s master plan to relocate the private terminal, charter activities and flight training to the south side of the grounds — away from the main terminal.

Previously, the general aviation terminal was located near the control tower, separate from the general aviation hangars.

“It’s really making a synergy for all the general aviation at Outagamie County,” said Pat Heil, a general manager at Platinum Flight Center, which operates the general aviation facility. “One of the neatest improvements is that once we moved to the south side of the airport ... there’s a lot more interaction between us and the tenants that are renting hangar space there. It just makes it that much easier for us to continue to grow those synergies and make a vibrant general aviation airport active again.”

The new general aviation terminal includes a new conference room overlooking the runway that is available for rent for business meetings or training seminars.

Platinum Flight Center also is partnering with the Meat Block in Greenville for catering services and to operate a deli area inside the general aviation terminal. The goal is to eventually offer a full-service restaurant after Fox Valley Technical College opens its new public safety training center next year on the airport’s south side, Heil said.

John Bergstrom, chairman and CEO of Bergstrom Automotive in Neenah, said the new facility is a key piece to a great airport.

“Representing the business community, I can’t thank you enough for what this building does and the signal that it sends for everybody in corporate transportation and private aviation,” he said. “This is a spectacular step forward.”

Shannon Full, president and CEO of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called the new general aviation terminal a significant addition to the airport that will continue to drive revenue and impact the entire Fox Valley.

“As we continue to strive to assist our existing companies with expansion opportunities as well as recruiting new companies to the area, we know that transportation — specifically air transportation — is one of the top factors in their decision-making process,” Full said. We need to make this region accessible to the world, allowing us to compete in that very fierce global marketplace.”

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson lauded the facility’s energy efficiency and sustainability, noting it was designed to “net zero” standards — which means it produces as much energy as it consumes. The building features geothermal heating, rooftop solar and natural lighting.

“This airport is the gate to the Fox Cities, to Outagamie County and to northeast Wisconsin,” Nelson said. “In addition to its being a portal of commerce and tourism, it’s the front door to our home. As such, it creates an impression of the kind of people that live here — forward-thinking but given to the benefits of conservation, stylish but tasteful and practical. ...

“This building and the campus in which it stands serve as a reminder that Outagamie County is home to great people and is a great place to live today and tomorrow.”

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