An airport authority should be established in Milwaukee County to manage, operate, develop, and issue revenue bonds for the county's two airports, according to a state-funded study released this month.
General Mitchell International and Timmerman airports are controlled by the Milwaukee County Board. The study recommends a power-sharing arrangement in which an airport authority would run the airports. The board, which would retain title to the land and facilities would have to approve future plans for the airports.
Bob Kunkel, director of the Bureau of Aeronautics for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, said the study was initiated by the state Legislature because master planning process for Mitchell airport has been stalled for five years before a county committee. He said most members of the county's Public Works and Transportation Committee live near the airport and oppose its expansion.
The study suggests that legislation be enacted to form an authority that could issue revenue bonds backed by airport revenues. The county is prohibited from issuing revenue bonds for the airport under Wisconsin law and has had to use general obligation bonds to finance past capital improvements at the airports, the study says.
Conducted by KPMG Peat Marwick, Foley & Lardner and Gerald Schwerm Co., the study was forwarded to the state Legislature, according to Mr. Kunkel.