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(Oshkosh, WI) – On Tuesday, November 10th, Wittman Regional Airport is set to reopen Taxiway Alpha (A). The reconstruction of Taxiway A was scheduled to be constructed in three phases, with phase 1 & 2 to be completed by November 13th 2020 and Phase 3 to be completed by June 11th, 2021. The successful completion of the $7,521,894 reconstruction project was accomplished ahead of the November 13th deadline and in only two phases. This achievement was done through the diligent correspondence between airport staff, OMNNI Engineering and Vinton Construction. Wittman Regional Airport is thankful to the funding contributions of this project from the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and the matching contributions from the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics state block grant program and Winnebago County.
The 8’000 Linear Feet (LF) of concrete reconstruction project included; upgrading Taxiway “A” lights to LED lighting and signage improvements; improvements to the drainage system with enhanced grading and construction of a 4,100 LF concrete storm drain gutter; and widening the taxiway to 60′. All of these significant improvements will provide enhanced safety for use of the taxiway, and increase its useful life as the previous pavement was constructed around 1967. Taxiway A is heavily utilized year-round, and is unique in that it operates as a third runway during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. This adaptation allows Wittman Regional Airport to operate three non- intersecting runways, providing for arrival and departure rates that are critical to the safety and success of the event.
We’re all disappointed with the cancellation of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2020, as it means so many different things for everyone who attends. For thousands of aviators, flying to Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH) is a highlight in the logbook.
As AirVenture 2020 is not taking place, Wittman Regional Airport will operate normally as a public use airport with contract tower services. For those considering flying to Oshkosh in late July, it’s important to manage expectations about what is permissible:
- Aircraft parking for itinerant traffic is available on the Terminal / Basler FBO Ramp. No permit has been obtained for aircraft parking or camping on any turf areas of the airfield and therefore is not permitted.
- No buildings or facilities on the AirVenture grounds will be open. Those attempting to camp will be asked to move to Terminal / Basler FBO ramp parking or depart.
- The Warbird / Homebuilt camping areas near P-1 taxiway will not be open. Papa 2 taxiway (Boeing Plaza) will not be accessible.
- There will be no access to EAA facilities from the airport. EAA did not obtain a Wisconsin temporary campground permit for Camp Scholler in 2020, so it is illegal to accept or allow campers there this year. The EAA Aviation Museum also will be closed to the public through July.
For those who still want to fly to Oshkosh during AirVenture week, we encourage you to park at the Terminal / Basler FBO ramp, stay at one of our local hotels, and enjoy some of Oshkosh’s hospitality. Please coordinate with Basler Flight Service to arrange any ground handling needs.
Published June 10, 2020
CORONAVIRUS UNCERTAINTY FORCES CANCELLATION OF EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH 2020
Health and safety of participants, volunteers primary concern
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (May 1, 2020) — The continuing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizers of the world’s largest fly-in convention, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2020, to cancel this year’s event at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The 68th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention was scheduled to be held on July 20-26, 2020.
“We looked at every possibility over the past six weeks as to how EAA could move forward with AirVenture this year, because it is such an important reunion for the aviation community,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board. “The current status in Wisconsin is that it is still under a stay at home order until May 26, which completely eliminates our ability to start grounds preparation May 1. The reopening of the state also has no specific dates, creating uncertainty about mass gatherings in July. Ultimately, preserving the health and safety of all who would attend – and all the varying guidelines between states and countries from where our participants arrive – along with the massive commitments needed now for an event to meet EAA’s high standards, made cancellation the only option for this year.”
All pre-sold AirVenture 2020 admissions and camping reservations can be rolled over to the 2021 event or are eligible for refund. Those who have made such purchases will be contacted individually within the next two weeks regarding these options.
“Those of us involved in aviation know very well the importance of information gathering and planning prior to any flight, and I looked at AirVenture in much the same way before reaching this decision,” Pelton said. “While no one can see every eventuality, as we looked as the scenarios for holding the event in 2020, it was dependent on a number of important factors where there are currently no definitive answers. That is not the way to commit to an event that welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to Oshkosh from more than 90 countries.
“There is no way to describe the disappointment I feel for everyone who sees AirVenture as aviation’s family reunion each year. You can be assured that EAA is already eagerly looking forward to gathering along the AirVenture flightline on July 26 through August 1 in 2021.”
About EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.eaa.org/airventure. EAA members receive the lowest prices on admission rates and all those age 18 and under are admitted free. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAA.
EDITOR’S NOTE: EAA CEO/Chairman Jack Pelton will be available at a media conference call on Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m. Central Time. Please use the following link to reserve a slot at this conference call and receive sign-in information:
(Oshkosh, WI) – Supervisors of the Winnebago County Board approved three resolutions to move forward with the construction of a new General Aviation (GA) terminal facility at Wittman Regional Airport during Dec 17th’s County Board meeting.
The terminal project has been in the works for several years as operating costs of the existing terminal have risen. Two existing structures located on 20th Avenue will be replaced by a single, more efficient and right-sized facility to appropriately serve the airport, community, and flying public.
The current GA terminal facility, built in 1958, occupies 6,254 square feet and is operated by Basler Flight Service. The adjacent 33,000 square foot terminal was constructed in 1971 to serve commercial airline operations. Commercial airline service concluded in 2003.
Jim Schell, the Director of Wittman Regional Airport, expects to have plans finalized and submitted to the Bureau of Aeronautics and the City of Oshkosh in early 2020 with a bid opening in late April. Construction of the new GA terminal is planned to commence as early as May 2020 with completion expected approximately 13 months later. The new facility will be a single-story, 12,500 square foot building. In addition to serving general aviation air traffic, the new building will also provide space for Basler Flight Service, airport administrative offices, space for a rental car operation and meeting rooms available to the general public.
Total construction cost on the project is currently estimated at $6.8 million. Grant assistance from the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics will be received in the amount of $1.8 million with the remaining balance being funded by the county. The total investment includes demolition of both existing facilities, site work and paving for a new parking lot, constructing the new GA terminal and an improved access road from 20th Avenue.
(Oshkosh, WI) – On Monday, September 23rd, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded $7,521,894 in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Discretionary grant funding to Wittman Regional Airport for a major taxiway reconstruction project. This grant funding is being administered through the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics (BOA) state block grant program, with matching funds of $525,000 provided by the BOA and $525,000 by Winnebago County, the airport’s sponsor.
The funding will be utilized to reconstruct major portions of Taxiway Alpha (A), the Airport’s primary north/south taxiway and the full parallel taxiway to Runway 18-36 on the field. The reconstruction and widening project is vital to the long- term viability of the airfield, as the existing pavement was primarily constructed in 1967. Also included in this project are: upgraded airfield lighting and signage, improved drainage systems, and taxiway widening all of which will provide enhanced safety for use of the taxiway. Taxiway A is heavily utilized year round, and is unique in that it operates as a third runway during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. This adaptation allows Wittman Regional Airport to operate three non- intersecting runways, providing for arrival and departure rates that are critical to the safety and success of the event.
Glenn Grothman, U.S Representative for Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District stated, “I am elated that the Federal Aviation Administration will be giving a grant to the Wittman Regional Airport. This grant is not only vital for Winnebago County, but for people worldwide due to their annual EAA Airventure Fly-in. Not as well-known is the number of planes who fly here weekly, serving as a major hub for traffic for Oshkosh and surrounding areas. This investment will also be vital in training our next generation of pilots.”
Construction on the yearlong project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020.
For further information on this project or other items related to Wittman Regional Airport, please contact Jim Schell, Airport Director at 920-236-4932.
“What I’m most proud of this year is how our volunteers, staff, and the community joined to overcome the challenges resulting from the massive storms that hit the airport and campground just prior to opening day. It took a true team effort to meet the additional demands on time and resources to provide services to our members and visitors.” -EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton
Attendance: Approximately 642,000 – 6.8 percent above of 2018’s record total.
“EAA members and aviation enthusiasts attended in large numbers, and stayed throughout the week. On July 22, we thanked Oshkosh residents for 50 years of support with free opening-day tickets and more than 8,700 of them attended – which equates to 13 percent of the city’s population. Throughout the rest of the week, our efforts to create unique attractions and aviation highlights across the grounds were incredibly successful in creating ‘Only at Oshkosh’ moments.” -Jack Pelton
Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 16,807 aircraft operations in the 11-day period from July 19-29, which is an average of approximately 127 takeoffs/landings per hour.
Total showplanes: 2,758 included: 1,057 homebuilt aircraft (including a record 592 homebuilt aircraft campsites), 939 vintage airplanes, 400 warbirds (6 percent increase), 188 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 105 seaplanes (40 percent increase), 62 aerobatic aircraft, and 7 in other categories.
Camping: More than 12,300 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors.
Volunteers: More than 5,500 contributing in excess of 250,000 hours.
Commercial exhibitors: 863.
Forums, Workshops, and Presentations: A total of 1,500 sessions attended by more than 75,000 people.
EAA aircraft flights: 3,051 people flew aboard EAA’s Ford Tri-Motors, while 3,173 people flew aboard EAA’s Bell 47 helicopters and 669 flew aboard EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast.
Social Media, Internet and Mobile: More than 17.6 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture; EAA’s website had more than 2.1 million page views; EAA video clips during the event were viewed 4.5 million times; and EAA’s 2,740 photo uploads were viewed more than 13.3 million times. Additionally, EAA web streams were accessed more than 1.6 million times by viewers in more than 200 countries, who watched more than 315,000 hours of activities from the AirVenture grounds. The AirVenture app was downloaded and used by nearly 47,000 attendees. EAA Radio reached more than 104,000 listeners in 158 countries with 6,735 hours of audio, and more than 47,000 viewers of 405,000 minutes of streaming video.
Guests registered at International Visitors Tent: A record 2,772 visitors registered from 93 nations, also a record total. (Actual counts are higher since international visitor registration is voluntary.) Top countries represented by registered visitors: Canada (561 visitors), Australia (386), and South Africa (177).
The Gathering shines: The EAA Aviation Foundation’s annual event to support its aviation education programs attracted some 1,400 people and raised more than $2.8 million dollars that will be focused on EAA’s mission of growing participation in aviation.
Media: 851 media representatives on-site, from six continents.
Economic impact*: $170 million for the five counties in the Oshkosh region (Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac, Calumet, and Brown). * – based on 2017 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economic impact study
What’s ahead for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2020 (July 20-26, 2020)?
“Planning is well underway for next year’s event, including discussions during AirVenture 2019 about possible features and attractions for 2020. In the next few months, we will be finalizing highlights in all areas to make the 68th annual EAA fly-in convention the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.” -Jack Pelton
National Intercollegiate Flight Association SAFECON flight competition coming to EAA, Wittman Regional Airport in 2020
Oshkosh to host NIFA SAFECON Nationals for the first time
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (June 25, 2019) — The National Intercollegiate Flight Association (NIFA) SAFECON flight competition is coming to Oshkosh for the first time on May 18-23, 2020. SAFECON is the premier collegiate flight competition with over 500 competitors from more than 30 schools.
Young pilots from across the country will compete for awards in a variety of aviation skills including: landing, navigation, preflight, flight planning, crew based simulations, safety, sportsmanship and more. The entirety of the competition will be hosted on the EAA grounds, utilizing both the convention grounds and the museum. All ground, spot landing, and flying events will be based at Wittman Regional Airport except the cross country competition which will start in Oshkosh and briefly leave the area.
“This competition brings together the nation’s top collegiate pilots to showcase their flying skills,” said Rick Larsen, EAA vice president of communities and member programs. “Many of the competitors in SAFECON are those who become the next generation of top professional pilots and flight instructors.”
Thanks to the establishment of NIFA, these competitions have made their way from being held exclusively at Ivy League schools in the ‘20s and early ‘30s, to the EAA grounds in Oshkosh to celebrate the 100th year of competition in 2020.
Teams will arrive a few days prior to the competition, bringing economic impact to Oshkosh and the surrounding area. The NIFA SAFECON competition is also being supported by the Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau, Midwest ATC, and Basler Flight Service.
Governor Evers approves more than $600,000 for planning and pavement projects at Wittman Regional Airport
Governor Tony Evers approved funding totaling $400,000 to develop a master plan for the Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, and an additional $218,000 for pavement maintenance.
The airport is host to the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Air Venture event, which brings in more than 10,000 aircraft and approximately 500,000 people. This event is important to the airport, the Federal Aviation Administration, the aviation community, and surrounding communities and needs to be considered when looking at future projects.
According to Lucas Ward, P.E., airport development engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau of Aeronautics, the project will guide the airport’s development for the next 20 years.
Funds from the state, Winnebago County and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be used for the planning project.
- State = $20,000
- Winnebago County = $20,000
- FAA = $360,000
The planning project is scheduled to begin in June 2019 and should be completed in early 2021.
In addition to the airport planning work, this summer work will begin to crack seal and microsurface airport pavements and will continue over the next year and a half. This work will extend the useful life of the pavement.
Funds totaling $218,000 will come from the state, Winnebago County and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the crack seal and microsurface project.
- State = $10,900
- Winnebago County = $10,900
- FAA = $196,200
Airport improvement projects are administered through the WisDOT Bureau of Aeronautics. Wittman Regional Airport is one of 97 facilities included in the Wisconsin State Airport System Plan, which makes it eligible for state and federal funding.
EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH CELEBRATES 50 CONSECUTIVE YEARS IN OSHKOSH DURING 2019 FLY-IN
World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration seeks people and aircraft that attended in 1970
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (December 20, 2018) — The Experimental Aircraft Association is marking the 50th consecutive year of its annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in convention in Oshkosh in 2019 with a full schedule of activities for arriving aviators and residents of EAA’s hometown. The 67th annual event is July 22-28 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The EAA fly-in convention was first held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1953. In 1959, the event moved to Rockford, Illinois, where it was held annually through 1969 before coming to Oshkosh. EAA moved its permanent headquarters from the Milwaukee area to Oshkosh in 1983.
“A half-century ago, EAA founder Paul Poberezny saw Oshkosh as the perfect place to bring together aviation enthusiasts,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “Oshkosh has become synonymous with ‘The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration’ so it’s natural that we commemorate 50 consecutive years here with events that involve those who attend and those who have made the city such a welcoming place for aviators.”
EAA is seeking any of the showplanes present at the 1970 EAA fly-in convention and inviting the current owners to bring them to Oshkosh next summer. They will be featured in exclusive parking areas on the grounds. In addition, EAA is seeking members and volunteers who will be attending their 50th consecutive fly-in in 2019, and unique memorabilia and stories from the 1970 event that will add to the history of what has grown to be the largest annual fly-in in the world. In 2018, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh welcomed more than 600,000 people from 87 nations, along with more than 10,000 aircraft.
As a thank you to Oshkosh residents for welcoming the aviation world to their city for the past half-century, there will be special offers for community members and additional ways to engage in this historic milestone. Those details and others are still in development and will be announced as they are finalized.
“Over 50 years, nearly every significant aircraft type in the world has landed on the runways at Wittman Regional Airport to be part of the EAA fly-in,” Larsen said. “More important are the stories of the people who have come to be a part of this event and the legacy of what is now known simply as ‘Oshkosh.’ That is what we will be celebrating in 2019.”
About EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.eaa.org/airventure. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAA.