In revealing the final statistics for EAA AirVenture 2021—aka “Oshkosh”—which ended last weekend, EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton said, “We went into this year not knowing what AirVenture would look like and how big of an event was possible. The aviation community spoke loudly, though—it was ready to come to Oshkosh and we were happy that we could welcome them. Our theme was ‘The Wait is Over,’ and indeed it was. And the wait was worth it.”
Approximately 608,000 attendees passed through the turnstiles, marking just the third time attendance has surpassed 600,000. The final tally was within 5 percent of 2019’s record total, according to EAA. Of that number, some 40,000 attendees camped on-site, occupying more than 12,000 combined campsites including aircraft and drive-in visitors.
Aircraft on display totaled 3,176, led by a record 1,420 vintage aircraft. There were also 1,089 homebuilts on the grounds, 354 warbirds, 148 aerobatic aircraft, 112 seaplanes, 33 ultralights and 27 rotorcraft.
More than 10,000 aircraft flew into Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and satellite overflow airfields such as Appleton and Fond du Lac. In the 10-day period from July 22 to 31, at Wittman Field alone, the FAA counted 16,378 aircraft operations associated with the event, averaging approximately 116 takeoffs or landings during every hour the airport was open.
Exhibitors totaled 747, and there were 1,055 educational sessions and other meetings on-site. EAA registered 567 media representatives covering the show from four continents. As always, the corps of volunteers contributed to the success of AirVenture with more than 5,000 people putting in greater than 25,000 hours on the job. The overall economic input for Winnebago and the four surrounding counties is estimated at $170 million, according to a study by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
“Planning is well underway for next year’s event,” said Pelton, “including discussions during AirVenture 2021 about possible features and attractions for 2022. We also look forward to welcoming more international visitors next year to return AirVenture to a truly global reunion.
“This [year] was perhaps the most challenging set of circumstances we’ve ever faced as an organization to make the event happen. I could not be more proud of our volunteers.”