WITTMAN REGIONAL AIRPORT, OSHKOSH, WI (July 27, 2015) – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, it is the world’s largest fly-in event, closed its 2015 show recording record numbers in attendance and activity.
About 550,000 people from 69 countries attended this year’s convention, making it the highest-attended show in at least a decade. The FAA recorded 16,300 arrivals and departures throughout the week, including more than 3,000 arrivals in a single day at Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport, said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton.
“It’s double what goes on at O’Hare on any given day,” Pelton said during a closing-day news conference. The event ran from Monday July 20 to Sunday July 26. “It really felt like we’re back to our culture. … This year, we worked on having something for everyone ... and it was a success.
In 2014 the event featured about 500,000 people and 2,000 arrivals in a single day.
Pelton said that one of the draws was the diversity of aircraft that participated in one or more of the daily afternoon air shows. These included the B-52, the F-35 Lightning II, the F-22 Raptor and the Airbus A350, as well as tributes to legendary aviator Burt Rutan and the Apollo 13 crew, made for a successful week, he said.
The count for private aircraft parked on site during the week was still being tallied. However, in 2014, 2,649 airplanes – including 997 homebuilt aircraft, 1,050 vintage airplanes, 303 warbirds, 122 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 91 seaplanes, 40 rotorcraft, 38 aerobatic aircraft and 8 hot-air balloons registered.
North Carolina companies displaying products at Oshkosh included: Silver Feather (Fletcher, NC); Honda Aircraft Co. (Greensboro, NC); Dans Camo (Newport, NC); PlaneLogiX (Carroboro, NC); PMA Products, Inc. (Liberty, NC); Aria Handmade (High Point, NC); Franklin Aerospace (Charlotte, NC); TruAtlantic, Mfc., LLC. (Kernersville, NC), and JAARS (Waxhaw, NC).
Local aviation enthusiast attending included Clark Hatcher, Bradly and Al Bormith, Jeffery Stainback, Mitch Wisniewski, Jesse Williams and Joey and Mitch McGlamery,
Known simply as “Oshkosh” by aficionados, the air event is a mammoth economic contributor to the central Wisconsin area. In 2008, a UW-Oshkosh Center for Community Partnerships study showed a $110 million economic impact for the Oshkosh area. Of that, $84 million was direct impact with a $26 million multiplier from secondary spending. Additionally, the fly in provided 1,700 jobs and $39 million in labor income for Winnebago, Outagamie and Fond du Lac counties.
Over 5,000 volunteers invest 250,000 hours over several months to make Oshkosh happen. The tasks they perform range from parking cars and airplanes, to painting buildings, to helping set up and tear down concerts and shows presented by the EAA.