More than 600,000 people converged on Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, according to Experimental Aircraft Association officials.
About 608,000 people went through the gates at the Big Show — only the third time attendance has surpassed 600,000, EAA officials reported. They added this number is “within 5%” of 2019’s record attendance.
“We went into this year not knowing what AirVenture would look like and how big of an event was possible,” said EAA CEO Jack Pelton. “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. There was joy and excitement throughout the grounds and it set the stage for the return of AirVenture, making us very excited for the future.”
Just some of the statistics from this year’s show:
- More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 16,378 aircraft operations in the 10-day period from July 22-31, which is an average of approximately 116 takeoffs/landings per hour when the airport is open.
- Total showplanes: 3,176, which included a record 1,420 vintage aircraft, plus 1,089 homebuilt aircraft, 354 warbirds, 148 aerobatic aircraft, 112 seaplanes, 33 ultralights, and 27 rotorcraft.
- More than 12,000 campsites accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors.
- More than 5,000 volunteers contributed more than 250,000 hours.
- Commercial exhibitors: 747.
- Forums, Workshops, and Presentations: 1,055 sessions hosted throughout the week.
- Social Media: More than 18.95 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture, with engagement of 1.08 million; EAA video clips were viewed 3.48 million times.
- International guests: Despite travel restrictions that limited the number of attendees from other nations, EAA still welcomed visitors from 66 countries.
- The EAA Aviation Foundation’s annual event to support its aviation education programs attracted more than 500 people and raised more than $1.7 million.
- Media: 567 media representatives from four continents.
What’s ahead for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022, which will be held July 25-31:
“Planning is well underway for next year’s event, including discussions during AirVenture 2021 about possible features and attractions for 2022,” Pelton reported. “We also look forward to welcoming more international visitors next year to return AirVenture to a truly global reunion. In the next few months, we will be finalizing highlights in all areas to make the 69th EAA fly-in convention the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”