By: Yasmina Platt,
AOPA’s Central Southwest Regional Manager
“AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 could be one of the best ever” said Jack Pelton, Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft of America (EAA). Attendance, airplane numbers and exhibitors’ reactions and enthusiasm are all trending up significantly. Attendance on Saturday, for example, was up 20 percent over 2013. Aircraft arrival numbers were up significantly from a year ago. As of Sunday morning, there were more than 1,000 additional registered aircraft and Tuesday was full for aircraft parking – first time in a long time this has happened.
In addition to the seven AOPA regional fly-ins (www.aopa.org/fly-in), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) had a bigger and better location and presence at this year’s AirVenture in Wisconsin. Nearly 20,000 people visited AOPA’s main tent throughout the week. Your Association was right on the flight line across from the famous brown arch. AOPA’s presence was expanded to include not only the many great AOPA brand experiences, products and services pilots have come to expect at the airshow, but also a new activities tent that 3,000 people visited where safety and educational seminars as well as special gatherings were held. Some of those special events included a Pilot Town Hall with President Mark Baker, a Rusty Pilots seminar with 90 attendees, an Airport Support Network (ASN) Volunteer appreciation dinner, a flying club meeting, and an ADS-B learning session.
AOPA celebrated the organization’s 75th anniversary with cupcakes one day and AOPA President Mark Baker held several gatherings to discuss the latest in AOPA initiatives, industry issues, etc with members. Pilots were also able to take a photo and appear on the cover of AOPA Pilot magazine. Disney’s “Planes: Fire and Rescue” had an interactive display for kids to play and Jay simulators were available for adults and kids to try. If that was not enough… AOPA also had a new outdoor courtyard area to relax, enjoy conversation and build new friendships. Many took advantage of this area as an airshow viewing area as well.
Couldn’t attend Oshkosh this year but wish you could have? You can catch a summary of the week’s show and highlights at www.aopa.org/live. Look for the “Live This Week” videos that includes “AirVenture” in the title.
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