Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Appleton International Airport (KATW) warns of military jet flyovers in Fox Valley, Wisconsin

APPLETON — Back in October, a series of military jet flyovers had some Fox Valley residents confused.

Even law enforcement agencies didn't know what was going on.

Sgt. David Lund with the Appleton Police Department said, "At the time when the military flyover took place, there was a lot of confusion."

So the Appleton International Airport  wanted to take matters into its own hands. Airport officials kept an eye on the National Guard's distribution list to stay ahead of the curve for the next flyover, which is taking place Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon.

Abe Weber, the Appleton International Airport Director, said, "I think the biggest difference between what occurred last October and what we sent out yesterday, was our feeling that we had a duty to communicate this out. After the comments we received in October, we really wanted to learn and be more proactive."

The airport's proactive approach was well received, with many positive comments on social media

Weber said, "We really are surprised, there were a number of concerns raised back in October. This time it's all been very positive reactions and that's really great. It leads us to believe we did the right thing in getting it out."

According to the Department of Military Affairs, it's the 115th Fighter Wing doing routine training exercises this week here in the Fox Valley skies.

A spokesperson for the 115th Fighter Wing said it usually only needs to tell local FAA air traffic control when training is taking place, not the airport itself. But Appleton International caught it anyway.

Weber said, "We felt like it was our duty to communicate that information to the community."

Benefiting not only the community, but the law agencies too.

Lund said, "It's good just to alert people that there's nothing to worry about. It makes law enforcement's job easier, it puts people at ease."

The airport says it plans to continue these alerts in the future.

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