A recent economic impact report finds the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport has a $35 million annual impact on the Northwoods economy.
Airport Director Matthew Leitner describes the study...
"...So we asked the state to perform an economic study of our airport. It was a very conservative study which means it doesn't include the industry and business found in the industrial park, just the airport itself. All the businesses in the terminal. Rhinelander Flying Service right here on the airport. We discovered there was $35 million of aggregate economic impact locally..."
He says the money provided by the City of Rhinelander and Oneida County to run the airport gets returned many times over. He says the access the airport provides to markets in the region, nation and globally is critical.
Leitner says it also creates jobs...
"Over 170 jobs are tangential to the economic impact the airport contributes. The FAA is contributing to the airport, the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics is investing in our airport. We're engaged in a lot of infrastructure enhancements. We're growing. We're building a new secure area for passengers after they clear security. It will have 94 seats and will have some amenities we don't have now, like a bathroom and vending, etc."
He says Delta Airlines has increased available seats by more than 10 percent, including more flights over the summer months. He says they will be sitting down with Delta yet this fall in the hope Delta is interested in providing additional service at the Rhinelander airport.