Appleton’s Steve Kagen formally announces Outagamie County Regional Airport funding
March 3, 2009
By Jim Collar
GREENVILLE — The Outagamie County Regional Airport would see improvements in service and security under legislation pending in Congress, officials said Monday.
U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton, appeared for a press conference about an hour before a new 8:30 a.m. nonstop flight to Denver to formally announce the airport’s inclusion in the 2009 Omni-bus Appropriations Act. The airport stands to receive more than $1 million for improvements should the House bill become law.
Airport improvement dollars combined with a new nonstop outlet for travelers could only enhance the region’s business climate, Kagen said.
"There’s no better place to do business than here in the Fox Valley," he said.
If the House bill is passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama, the county would use the funds to expand the terminal ramp and enhance airport security.
Ramp expansion would provide room for a new passenger boarding bridge that would be necessary for accommodating larger jets.
Security enhancements would include closed-caption television, a perimeter card access system and an expanded checkpoint area for the Transportation Security Administration.
Airport Director Marty Lenss said projects that would be funded through the bill had been considered for some time, and have been part of the airport’s five-year capital improvement plans.
Outagamie County Executive Toby Paltzer said the airport is vital to the Fox Valley economy, and its growth in the last decade couldn’t have happened without state and federal support.
Kagen acknowledged that the region, like the entire country, is struggling in the current recession.
Airport improvements and enhanced services, he said, could play a role into what the Fox Valley needs most: "Jobs, jobs and more jobs right here at home."
Those using the airport Monday morning were treated to giveaways, refreshments and free, made-to-order omelets in keeping with the Denver theme .