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Two Aldermen Pushing To Allow Hangar For 737 Jets At Kenosha Airport

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Airport Commission Chairman Alderman Lamacchia (Left) 737 Jet (Middle) Alderman Eric Haugaard (Right)
(Photos of Aldermen by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Laurie and Michael Stein, who own Steins Aircraft Services, LLC, are looking to build a big hanger at Kenosha Airport. A hangar so big, in fact, that it will be storing 737 jets. The Chairman of the City’s Airport Commission, Rocco Lamacchia, is in support of the purposed Hangar that could mean daily take-offs and landings of the large 737s here in Kenosha. Alderman Eric Haugaard is heavily supporting the project along with Lamacchia. He has been lobbying for the Stein’s, with whom he reportedly has a personal relationship with. It is very ironic. Haugaard is the Alderman that lives on 5th Avenue that overlooks beautiful Kennedy Drive along Lake Michigan. He had Kennedy Drive shut down at 7pm every day. It’s the only park in Kenosha that closes at this hour. The others close at 10pm. He did this, because he and his neighbors didn’t like the noise that the historic drive brings with it.

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Alderman David Bogdala

We reached out to the two Aldermen who’s districts are nearest the Airport, Alderman Dominick Ruffalo and Alderman David Bogdala. Bogdala had the following to say:

“I’m opposed to this expansion for multiple reasons. First, the increased volume of large planes would significantly pose a major noise problem for the surrounding neighborhoods and those in the flight path. Second, since the recent runway improvements, landing these large, heavier planes will take the runway life expectancy from approximately 20 years down to 5. Third, should the runway need repairs in the next several years, the city taxpayer will be on the hook for those repairs which could cost millions of dollars.

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Alderman Dominick Ruffalo

Ruffalo told KCE that while he hasn’t seen the proposal, he did have concerns that the planes will be “too much for our airport and it will be hard on our runway.”

If you would like to voice your opinion one way or another to the Aldermen, you can write to all of them by emailing aldermen@kenosha.org.

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This is a developing story.

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32 Responses

  1. I normally agree with you, Mr. Mathewson, but I don’t think that this is that bad of an idea. Kenosha is a growing city and having a larger airport could help facilitate that growth even more. A 737 isn’t that much louder than any of the aircraft that currently land at the airport anyway.

    1. I don’t think Kenosha is a growing city. In 2010 we had 99,000 in population. Today, twelve years later, we still have 99,000. This airport expansion idea sounds like trouble. Please keep an Eye on this one, KCE.

    2. Totally agree with your comment. Aviation is a dying breed these days with airports around the country being closed all the time. Airports, especially smaller region ones, bring revenue to the city along with jobs and other opportunities. Steins Aircraft is a good company too.

    3. Bernard I’m with you, there should be no issue with this.

      And it has zero to do with whether or not the city has grown. Maybe it’s true that the city has been stagnant, but the county for certain has grown. This project is no-brainer for communities that want economic expansion.

      1. Why do people keep stating that the city and county have grown? While the city’s population has been constant, the county has been nearly as stagnant: up a little over one percent in the past decade-plus. I love Kenosha, but it certainly isn’t a hub of population growth.

        1. Because the population of the county as a whole has grown. Correct that the city has been level, but completely nonsense to say the county hasn’t.

  2. Wasn’t there a proposal several years ago to lengthen runways to accommodate larger jets, even some commercial jets? If I remember correctly, the idea was abandoned because of noise and other pollution. I agree with Dave Bogdala on this one.

  3. I’ve benign Anchorage where jets land every few minutes. Today’s aircraft isn’t quite as noisy. Our community must remain competitive and jobs are job one.

  4. Funny how climate change takes a back seat to liberals when it benefits them. When it comes to the vast population, we all have to suffer when they deem something they want important.

  5. Curious why taxpayers have sunk millions into the airport and it’s various expansions if they don’t plan on it being used more? Maybe the airport is another Kennedy Drive?

  6. With the North American headquarters of Haribo soon to be here, it would make sense they would have personnel flying back and forth between Germany. I’m guessing this is also why there is now a part-time US Customs office at the airport. I think it would help draw more businesses to the area.

  7. We need forward vision. Waukegan’s airport does quite a bit of cargo work. I think our airport could do more if it was promoted better. It hasn’t been. Economic development is a key resource for a community. We should not let the negative voices doom Kenosha … again.

    1. There are 3 very nice useable airports nearby, Milwaukee, Chicago and Waukegan. Pick one and take the short drive to/from the airport while sparing us Kenosha residents from the noise/traffic/flight patterns. When you are ok with runways, flight patterns and 737’s flying over your home harming your way of life and lowering your property values then talk. Until then, may I suggest Milwaukee – it’s a fabulous airport, short drive, great parking and departures/arrivals are a snap for us regular people.

  8. Time has come today ! With the expansion of the industrial parks and companies moving into the area it will only further pressure the city to expand and upgrade the airport . International companies need the access to airfreight! So move forward I think the city is past the point of saying no . I’m sure the socalist on the city council who are in disagreement will scream the carbon footprint ect ect the ice cubes are melting and Santa won’t have a place to call home

  9. Since these 737 jets will not be for commercial use maybe the company looking to buy and rent them should sign a binding lease with the city/airport to pay for runway improvements and future additions since the taxpayers would gain no benefit from this proposal except to pay for future improvements (only used by a private company).

  10. Since these 737 jets will not be for commercial use maybe the company looking to buy and rent them should sign a binding lease with the city/airport to pay for runway improvements and future additions since the taxpayers would gain no benefit from this proposal except to pay for future improvements (only used by a private company).

  11. The major cost should not be on taxpayers shoulders. I agree that there is a growing need as the area becomes a hub in the supply chain, however there also comes a need for increased support emergency services and maintenance. These cost should be on the companies that will benefit from it.

    Noise barriers, pollution factors and operating times need to be addressed.

  12. I happen to live within 1 mile of the airport, and I am most definitely opposed!

    Unlike folks who move close to a major airport and then complain about the noise, those who currently live near the airport moved there with no knowledge of future plans to bring in commercial-size jets. Although rare, I agree with every word of Ald, Bogdala’s comments.

  13. Years ago, Mayor Antaramian and his Airport Manager Dennis Eiler annexed land, secured Government funding and extended runways, including a control tower for just this reason. Sure Eiler was later busted on drug and weapon charges (in a school zone), but this is what Antaramians vision was. C’mon man, let’s not let this great leader down. They definitely should get those 737’s screaming overhead.

  14. With this recession turning into a soon to be depression, now is not the time to allow big jets to use Kenosha’s airport. There are about 6 other airports they can use in the metro region. Daley expanded O’Hare with more and longer runways to the complete opposition to the homeowners in the flight path. Kenosha should not do the same stupid thing.

    To approve this would ignite two uncontrolled situations; 1) Ongoing expansion as other operators see the opportunity to get their toe in the door and tie up the city with lawsuits. 2) The residents always pay the tax bill to build these things. Homeowners will bear the brunt of the cost regardless of what the politicians say. Companies always find a way to skirt the cost (otherwise they wouldn’t proceed).

    Though this sounds like a sexy municipal project, it’s not. The lobbying will be intense and most likely that asshole Evers will try to promise money to get this “over the finish line.” It isn’t in the best interest of the residents.

  15. Will these same alderman require any expansion be contingent on a prefunded noise mitigation program for area residents? Pilots should be able to land with minimal reverse thrust as well.

  16. Everyone needs to take a deep breath here. Airports are a vital economic resource. With all of the growth in the Kenosha area this capacity may be necessary. But Alderman Bogdala has some legitimate concerns. Before the council votes this up or down there needs to be an unbiased study as to the need for this, a costs vs. benefits analysis, a noise and environmental impact study and a response to the alderman’s concerns that this would accelerate runway repair or replacement and how will that be addressed. Also, will there be state and federal money available? We should neither buy a pig in a poke or be another “no shave.”

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