RNC 2024: Waukesha County Airport braces for more private jets

Flight restrictions and extra security during the Republican National Convention (RNC) opened a unique opportunity for a smaller airport. 

"It’s a very exciting time – everybody is really looking forward to anybody who is coming in here," said Waukesha County Airport Kurt Stanich. 

On any given day, Stanich said there are about three or four private jets parked there. He said about a dozen more each day are booked during the convention. But since pilots do not need to make reservations, it is anyone's guess as to how many actually show up.

Extra parking spaces for planes

Stanich is designating extra parking space on a ramp just in case.

"A lot of those last-minute decisions are made by pilots and flight crews a day or two before they leave," Stanich said. 

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Stanich said Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport and Timmerman Airport will be under temporary flight restrictions during the RNC. Private flights landing there will need to clear security in Madison or Grand Rapids, Michigan before arriving in Milwaukee.

"We’re thinking a lot of those who are not going to want to deal with the temporary flight restriction will come to us," Stanich said. 

Gift bags for visitors

When they get to Waukesha County, Brookfield has nearly 2,000 gift bags waiting for them. 

"We’re the largest cluster of hotels outside of downtown," said Visit Brookfield CEO Nancy Justman, who hopes out-of-towners come back again at some point. 

There are banners all over reminding people that the convention is not just about Milwaukee.


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All 386 rooms here at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield are completely sold out. That is where delegates from California will be staying.

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Stanich said there will be extra staff on hand at the airport to handle the increase. 

"It’s going to be busy no matter where you are," Stanich said. 

The airport manager said he expects people to start flying in by Friday.