Mitchell Airport Director to retire after 31 years of service

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele released the following statement on Thursday, February 13th -- announcing the upcoming retirement of longtime Mitchell International Airport Director Barry Bateman.

“In his 31 years as the Airport Director for Milwaukee County, Barry’s accomplishments are extraordinary and extensive. He has used his exceptional leadership skills, sound fiscal policies and excellent business relationships with the airlines to simultaneously increase air service and provide the airport infrastructure to handle the growth.

During Barry’s tenure as airport director, the annual number of passengers at Mitchell International has increased from three million to more than seven million (up 220%). Barry has overseen more than $500 million in capital improvements at the Airport, which has created a tremendous economic benefit for the entire southeastern Wisconsin region.

In 2007, Barry received one of the American Association of Airport Executive’s highest honors, the Distinguished Service Award. In 2008, Barry was the recipient of the Public Policy Forum’s Norman N. Gill award. And in 2010, the Wisconsin Airport Management Association presented Barry with its Lifetime Service Award. Prior to Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport, Barry served in positions at Las Vegas McCarran International and Lexington Bluegrass Airports, with 41 total years in airport management.

I know the community will join me in thanking Barry for skillfully piloting the airport through the many ups and downs of the aviation industry. His outstanding leadership, knowledge of the airport and aviation industry, and steady guidance will be greatly missed.”

Batemen’s last day is April 18th. Deputy Airport Director Terry Blue will take over as interim Director upon Bateman’s retirement.

Milwaukee County is immediately launching a national search to replace Bateman.