Photos by Andrew Stevens
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) released facts and figures indicating that this year’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI was a record-setting year.
EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton said, “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. 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.”
Attendance for the event was approximately 650,000 – A record total (previous mark: 642,000 in 2019) and 7 percent above 2021’s attendance of 608,000. “There were several factors involved in the record attendance this year, in addition to the great weather,” said Pelton. “Programs such as the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force contributed to exciting aerial displays all week, and it was a joy to welcome our international visitors back in full force for the first time since 2019.”
The total aircraft reported was more than 10,000. This figure includes those arriving at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh as well as other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 18,684 aircraft operations in the 11-day period from July 21-31, which is an average of approximately 121 takeoffs/landings per hour when the airport is open.
There were 3,226 showplanes which included 1,375 registered in vintage aircraft parking, plus 1,156 homebuilt aircraft (up 6 percent over 2021), 369 warbirds (up 5 percent from ’21), 137 ultralights, 87 seaplanes, 77 aerobatic aircraft, and 25 rotorcraft.
Other totals include:
- Camping: More than 12,000 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors.
- Volunteers: More than 5,000 contributing in excess of 250,000 hours.
- Commercial exhibitors: 803.
- Forums, Workshops, and Presentations: More than 1,400 sessions hosted throughout the week.
- Social Media, Internet and Mobile: More than 10.6 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture, with engagement of 1.1 million; More than 83,000 hours of viewing EAA video clips online also occurred during the event.
- International guests: International visitors returned in a big way in 2022, with attendees from 92 countries outside the U.S., just one behind the record total from 2019.
- The Gathering shines: The EAA Aviation Foundation’s annual event to support its aviation education programs attracted more than 1,000 people and raised more than $2 million dollars that will be focused on EAA’s mission of growing participation in aviation.
- Media: 797 media representatives on-site, from six continents.
- Economic impact*: $170 million for the five counties in the Oshkosh region (Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac, Calumet, and Brown). * – based on 2017 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economic impact study
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023 will be held on July 24-30, 2023. “We’re going to take a little time to give our staff and volunteers a well-deserved rest, but there were numerous discussions at AirVenture 2022 about possibilities for next year,” said Pelton. “Certainly the 70th anniversary year of EAA will be among the big considerations as we look forward to next year’s edition of The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”