New airport director says no plans to privatize

Source: Corrinne Hess, Milwaukee Business Times, March 2, 2016

General Mitchell International Airport’s new director, Ismael Bonilla, said he is focused on lowering operating costs without sacrificing services and hopes by doing so, Milwaukee will be able to attract at least one new airline to the airport. … Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele appointed Bonilla to the role in December, fueling speculation that Abele is planning to privatize the airport. … When asked Wednesday, Bonilla said he has no intent to privatize Mitchell International, but does want to collaborate with area business leaders. … Bonilla’s other goals include maintaining skilled labor, and making upgrades to the airport’s ticket counter and international Concorse D. He said 2018 and 2019 will be the years of improvements at the airport.


Milwaukee County Board: Is airport privatization back on the table?
Source: Olivia Barrow, Milwaukee Business Journal, January 8, 2016

The chairman of the Milwaukee County Board has raised concerns about County Executive Chris Abele’s plans for the Milwaukee airports following the appointment of a new director. … The idea of privatizing General Mitchell International Airport was a topic of heavy discussion around 2008 and 2009 while the airport was performing at peak levels and during Scott Walker’s tenure as county executive, but was tabled in 2010 when the county board voted it down. …

Windfall refuels airport dreams / Privatization could bring payoff for county, but chances are uncertain
Source: By STEVE SCHULTZE, Journal Sentinel (WI), Posted: Dec. 24, 2007

Privatizing the operation of Mitchell International Airport could bring as much as $1 billion to the county, a tantalizing prospect that’s captured the attention of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. …. “You can always generate savings on labor costs if you cut wages and benefits,” said Richard Abelson, executive director of District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union. “That doesn’t necessarily translate into a better airport.”