by Dave Weiman
Officials at Outagamie County Regional Airport in Appleton, Wisconsin, the county board, and the business community, were on hand October 15, 2013 to dedicate the grand-opening of a new $3.6 million general aviation terminal.
The original general aviation facility was built in 1963 near the airline terminal. The new 8,000-square-foot terminal, along with a 12,000-square-foot hangar, consolidates general aviation activities with the existing general aviation hangars on the south side of the airport.
Building features include a two-story atrium lobby, flight-planning room, pilot center, passenger lounge, fireplace for those cold winter days, and a conference room overlooking the ramp, named in honor of former airport director, Marty Lenss, who was named director at Rochester International Airport in Minnesota in May. Lenss was responsible for starting the new GA terminal, and current airport director, Abe Weber, was responsible for completing the project. Both directors attended its dedication.
“Unlike traditional building designs, when developing this facility, the functionality was designed in detail first, and building form came second,” said Lenss. “The net-zero standards of this facility align with our core values at ATW in respect to being good stewards of the environment.”
Net-zero standards mean that the terminal was designed to produce as much energy as it consumes. The airport was one of 10 airports selected by the FAA for a pilot program for developing a sustainable master plan.
Outagamie County Regional Airport is currently pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certification for the GA terminal with an expectation of the highest Platinum rating. In addition, the design exceeds current building code requirements by approximately 83%. Twelve months of performance data, such as utility usage, will be compiled for verification.
The sustainable features include geothermal heating and cooling, solar photovoltaic panels, optimized building envelop design, natural ventilation, natural daylighting, occupancy sensors, super insulated thermal mass, and a water reclamation and recycling program. In addition, regional building materials were used throughout the design to evoke a timeless aesthetic that reinforces local trades.
Matt Dubbe of Mead & Hunt was the design architect for the project and was in attendance at the dedication to answer questions and greet guests. As part of the 8,000-square-foot project, Mead & Hunt also provided architectural design and building engineering for two hangars, a maintenance hangar and a storage hangar.
Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson commented on the facility’s energy efficiency and sustainability during the dedication. Speaking on behalf of the business community was John Bergstrom, chairman and CEO of Bergstrom Automotive in Neenah, who is a frequent user of general aviation aircraft. Shannon Full, president and CEO of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed the importance of a first-class facility for general aviation. Representing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics Director David Greene.
Airport director, Abe Weber, and Platinum Flight Center general managers, Pat Smith and Pat Heil, hosted the event.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Platinum Flight Center is owned by Outagamie County and offers fueling and general aviation pilot services. Tailwind Flight Center, ATW, provides management services for Platinum Flight Center, and is co-owned by Pat Heil and Pat Smith – Heil is general manager in charge of administration, and Smith is general manager in charge of operations. Tailwind Flight Academy provides flight training as a stand-alone company, located inside Platinum Flight Center. PACCAIR, Inc. provides aircraft maintenance, and is owned by Tracy Schoenrock. Maxair, Inc. offers air charter services, and is co-owned by Heil, Smith and Schoenrock. PACCAIR, Inc. and Maxair, Inc. are located in the original general aviation building.