Final Numbers In For AirVenture

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Officials at EAA started early on to tell the media not to expect attendance this year to match 2005, when the spectacular show featured SpaceShipOne, Global Flyer, and lots more, and on Tuesday they confirmed that prediction. Estimated attendance was 625,000, a decrease of about 10 percent from last year. Nonetheless, said EAA President Tom Poberezny, "EAA AirVenture 2006 was a tremendous event." This year's show featured more new aviation announcements than any EAA fly-in in history. Also, said Poberezny, there were many new activities, such as movie premieres and the Beach Boys concert. He also cited other factors that may have affected attendance. High fuel prices don't help, either for pilots flying in or the public driving from around the country. Also, this year's weather was especially hot and humid with scattered rain, while last year's was unusually pleasant. Other numbers for the show: 10,000 aircraft flew in during the week, and about 2,300 showplanes were on display on the field, including 852 homebuilts, 798 vintage aircraft, 387 warbirds, 130 ultralights, 121 seaplanes and 22 rotorcraft. There were 812 commercial exhibitors, 1,704 international visitors registered, and 868 representatives of the media, from six continents. EAA AirVenture 2007 is set for July 23-29.