Pelton Upbeat On AirVenture Results
At the traditional wrap-up news conference at Oshkosh on Sunday afternoon, EAA Chairman Jack Pelton said this year's show succeeded in meeting its main objectives. The number-one objective, he said, was to have a safe AirVenture, and that was accomplished. The second major success was to have an airshow at all, given the challenges posed when the FAA declined to pay the expenses for air traffic controllers, and sent EAA a bill for almost $450,000. The third challenge was to provide an entertaining airshow, despite the lack of military participation. "Most of you will agree we exceeded that expectation," Pelton said. EAA also said it had a record number of vendors at the show, many of whom reported robust sales.
"The traffic is just nonstop all day," Bret Koebbe, from Sporty's Pilot Shop, told EAA. Vendors cited growing optimism regarding the economy, plus good crowds drawn by the near-perfect weather, for improved interest and sales. Joe Blank, of Van's Aircraft, told EAA that sales were strong, especially for the new RV-14, introduced last year. Pelton said he wanted his staff to "come away with the overall feeling that would bring people back next year, and we feel [that] objective has been achieved." AirVenture 2014 is scheduled for July 28 to August 3. That show will honor the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the jet engine, along with many other features and events to be announced.