by Harold Mester
Published in Midwest Flyer – August/September 2018 issue
Brian Dranzik is the newly appointed Milwaukee County Airport Director, responsible for both of Milwaukee County’s airports, General Mitchell International Airport (KMKE) and Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport (KMWC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dranzik was appointed by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele late last year.
Dranzik’s experience in transportation includes leadership roles in the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation, including several years as the Director of Transportation. He has extensive experience in urban planning, mass transit planning, highway maintenance, and fleet management.
His new role as Milwaukee County Airport Director is no small task, as more than 7 million passengers are expected to use KMKE this year. Combined, KMKE and KMWC handle an average of 140,000 operations (takeoffs and landings) each year.
“Leading both Mitchell and Timmerman is a great opportunity to really focus on a specific area of transportation that is vitally important to southeastern Wisconsin’s economy,” Dranzik said in an interview. “Airports are dynamic environments that serve a wide variety of users and provide job opportunities for thousands of area residents. Along with my great team, I’m honored to lead these airports and provide the best travel experience possible.”
Dranzik’s long-term vision for Mitchell includes redeveloping Concourse E (which was recently closed) into a new state-of-the-art facility that has flexible use gates, allowing for both international and domestic arrivals and departures. He also envisions a revamped concession mall area in the main terminal that will provide a stronger “Milwaukee” sense of place. He also talked up the addition of a new fixed base operation, AvFlight, which joins Signature Flight Support in serving general aviation pilots and their passengers visiting the Milwaukee area.
Speaking of general aviation, under Dranzik’s leadership, Timmerman Airport recently completed an updated business plan that is helping to guide future activities.
Spring City Aviation became the fixed base operator at Timmerman Airport in 2017, and has made some noticeable improvements, including the addition of a Redbird full-motion flight simulator. Spring City Aviation is also hosting a free monthly pancake breakfast on the second Saturday of every month from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. The next time you are there, enjoy breakfast and check out the newly-remodeled lobby.
Dranzik is especially excited about the pilot contests that Timmerman hosts. The 6th Annual Spot Landing Contest will be held on September 8, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. It’s free for all pilots and even includes a free lunch! The 2nd Annual Flour Drop Contest was held in June, with the winning drop landing just 14 feet from the center of the target!
An avid golfer, Dranzik enjoys taking to the fairways in Wisconsin and around the world. He lives in Fox Point, Wisconsin with his wife, two sons, and their dog.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Harold Mester is a private pilot and part-owner of a Cessna 172 based at Milwaukee’s Timmerman Airport. He is a member of the Milwaukee County Airport staff.