• WisBusiness

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

MaryBeth Matzek: The name's the thing for Appleton airport

By MaryBeth Matzek
Look at the list of airports in Wisconsin and you'll see a new name on the list – Appleton International Airport. No, the city didn't build a new airport. Instead, the new name is result of several years of work by Outagamie County and airport leaders to come up with a new name for its airport, which was formerly known as Outagamie County Regional Airport.

Located in Greenville, an Appleton suburb, the airport is owned by the county, but self-funded.

"The idea for a new name has been around for a while," says Pat Tracey, marketing manager for the Appleton International Airport. "When people fly into somewhere, they want to be able to find it on the map. You can't find Outagamie County easily on a map, but you can find Appleton."

The county board voted in February 2014 to change the name of the airport. The change became official last month with the debut of new signs as the airport celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Tracey says a few other names were considered, such as Fox Cities Airport, but then again "that's not something you find on the map. We keep telling people: 'We renamed the airport to help travelers. We all know there is an airport here, but people elsewhere don't.' This brings greater visibility to our airport."

He says business travelers to the region often fly into Milwaukee or Green Bay since they don't realize Appleton has its own airport. The new name should help change that, Tracey says.

As for adding "international" to the name, that came through after the airport was approved for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection station that can handle private aircraft with up to 20 passengers and cargo, Tracey says. Previously, companies such as Kimberly-Clark and Gulfstream, which have operations at the airport, had their private corporate jets stop elsewhere to clear customs before coming home to Appleton after an international trip.

"I think people would be surprised by the amount of business travel that comes through here. There are a lot of big companies who do business in the area," he says.

The customs user station should be operational next month.

Appleton International Airport offers non-stop service to eight cities via Delta, United and Allegiant Air. The airport continues to use ATW as its three-letter code.

Top performer: Bellin-ThedaCare Healthcare Partners' Pioneer Accountable Care Organization is ranked No. 1 in quality among the 20 Pioneer ACOs in its third year of operation, according to federal data. Bellin-ThedaCare also received the nation's top quality ranking in 2013.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that Bellin-ThedaCare had a quality score of 94.2 percent in 2015 and saved Medicare $3.2 million. The partnership also earned $2.2 million in shared savings, which will go towards improving quality and care coordination to help patients achieve better health outcomes, says Dr. Dave Krueger, executive director for the Bellin-ThedaCare Pioneer ACO.

The partnership is between Bellin Health of Green Bay, ThedaCare of Appleton and both systems' independent physician groups.

Lock closed

Just a couple of weeks after the last Fox Locks opened in Kaukauna opening up the Fox River from Lake Winnebago northward to the Raptide Croche to boaters, the Menasha lock was closed after officials found the round goby – an invasive aquatic species -- below the Neenah dam.

The closing is designed to prevent the round goby from getting in to other parts of the river, Fox River Navigational System Authority officials say. There's no word on when the Menasha lock will reopen. The Department of Natural Resources is currently investigating the spread of the infestation.

Rehabilitating the locks was a 10-year, $14.5 million project.

-- Matzek, a freelance writer and editor, is the owner of 1Bizzy Writer. She has worked in the past as a news editor at Insight Publications and as business editor at the Appleton Post-Crescent.

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