Hightower: A "Solid" Year For AirVenture

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EAA released its final numbers this week on attendance for AirVenture 2012, with a total of 508,000 visitors, about 33,000 fewer than last year. EAA President Rod Hightower said the total was "tremendous," give the challenges of "intensely hot weather, storms, and struggles in the overall economy." The total number of commercial exhibitors was 802, and "numerous exhibitors reported record-breaking sales this year for Oshkosh," EAA said. More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport and nearby fields, about the same number as last year. "This was a solid year at AirVenture," Hightower said, "and, most importantly, it was a safe event."

Showplanes totaled 2,489, including 978 homebuilts, 907 vintage airplanes, 336 warbirds, 105 ultralights, 97 seaplanes, 35 aerobatic aircraft and 31 rotorcraft. Hightower said he was "very happy" with the operational execution of the show. "Bigger and better things" are in the works for next year, he added, especially continuing improvements in the "visitor experience." Next year's show is scheduled for July 29-Aug. 4, 2013. AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli shared his impressions of this year's edition of AirVenture on the AVweb Insider blog; click here to read.