Growth at Central Wisconsin Airport makes for longer wait times

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MOSINEE, Wis. (WSAW) Dozens of passengers have been taken by surprise this summer at the Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA). The regional airport once had a reputation for nonexistent to short wait times.

In the past, it led passengers to opt out of spending idle time in the airport to instead arrive later. The end result would be only small window of time to get from check in to the gate before a plane's departure.

The strategy, which once worked in the past, is now a thing of the past. To date, CWA is seeing a number of passengers that hasn't been seen since before the Great Recession.

CWA Airport Director Brian Grefe told NewsChannel 7 the growth is resulting in longer wait times in the security line. Now passengers who are used to cutting it close are getting left behind. Grefe said 4-6 people miss their flights every day at the airport.

"We're starting to see some wait times over 20 minutes on certain days when it is busy" he said.

The current fail-safe option, airport officials said, is to arrive 90 minutes before your scheduled departure.

"People who have arrived 90 minutes early have never missed a flight. That's why it's so important to give yourself that amount of time" Grefe continued.

Airport officials expect they will have processed 300,000 passengers this year. If the growth continues, it's possible new destinations could be offered at CWA.

Possibilities include flights to Dallas, Denver, and Atlanta. The decision on whether to provide a flight destination is ultimately up to the airline.