EAA Reports Record Crowds At AirVenture 2022

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Approximately 650,000 people attended EAA AirVenture 2022 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, last week, according to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The number is a new record for the organization’s annual fly-in, which set its previous attendance record in 2019 with 642,000 visitors. EAA cited good weather, the return of international visitors following the lifting of COVID-related travel restrictions and programs such as the flight displays associated with 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force as contributing factors to this year’s crowds.

“We introduced a tagline of ‘Unlike Anything Else’ for this year’s AirVenture event and 2022’s fly-in proved to truly be unlike anything else,” said EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton. “We had seven days of nearly perfect weather, along with this year’s programs and activities, which brought out people and airplanes in numbers that we haven’t seen before.”

In addition to 803 commercial exhibitors, EAA reported that more than 10,000 aircraft came to the area for the show, with Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) seeing 18,684 aircraft operations between July 21 and 31. 3,226 show planes were onsite including 1,375 in vintage aircraft parking, 1,156 homebuilt aircraft, 369 warbirds, 137 ultralights, 87 seaplanes, 77 aerobatic aircraft and 25 rotorcraft. EAA further noted that more than 5,000 volunteers contributed over 250,000 hours for the event.

Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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10 COMMENTS

    • Seems about right to me. Course, we camp every year and, before long, we’ll probably be located down around the seaplane base.
      It was an exceptional year.
      As for recession… were you alive in the 70’s?

      • Yes. Once a week, for two days (odd and even days) I waited in line for an hour in both our cars for gasoline, because, as you know, 50 years ago, the whole world was just about out of oil and there was a “shortage.” (If the sarcasm doesn’t come through: Now that I’m 50 years older, I see that these crisis are all “man made.”)

  1. Have attended all 52 events in Oshkosh. Attendance must have picked up over the weekend with the free youth admission because I did not see the normally large crowds. Wait times while standing in lines for that $15.00 hamburger was not long. The absence of a Ford presence was missed. Boeing Plaza was sparse and appeared to be void of anything other than produced by Boeing. The effects of inflation were being felt by everyone I talked with. This year’s event seemed to be missing something, but I cannot put my arms around it.

  2. I didn’t attend this year. Covid 19 hasn’t exactly disappeared, and if the crowds were as claimed we can expect a surge in cases in the next couple of weeks. Those will be difficult to attribute to AirVenture directly of course because so many people come from afar for the event.

  3. EAA said the same thing after SnF 2021 and 2022, yet it seemed that crowds were smaller than before. That’s the fly-in perspective; it’s possible overland attendance boosted overall numbers.
    The increasingly corporate nature of the organization makes such announcements suspect to this guy.

  4. It sure seemed crowded to me this year. I would have guessed it set an attendance record.
    But as someone above said, it did seem like there was something missing. And I can’t put my arms around it either.
    Hopefully next year, the buzz will be how to implement the approved 100UL and what the final MOSAIC rule will look like.

  5. How and who do they count? You may recall the SnF controversy of yore, where volunteers, vendors and individuals were more or less counted as a distinct individual each time they entered the gates. They were multiplying a single person by each day they attended.