Published in Midwest Flyer – August/September 2020 issue
OSHKOSH, WIS. – The continuing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizers of the world’s largest fly-in convention, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, to cancel its 2020 event at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The 68th annual event was scheduled to be held July 20-26.
“We looked at every possibility over the past six weeks (prior to May 1), as to how EAA could move forward with AirVenture this year, because it is such an important reunion for the aviation community,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board. “The current status in Wisconsin is that it is still under a stay-at-home order until May 26, which completely eliminates our ability to start grounds preparation May 1. The reopening of the state also has no specific dates, creating uncertainty about mass gatherings in July. Ultimately, preserving the health and safety of all who would attend – and all the varying guidelines between states and countries from where our participants arrive – along with the massive commitments needed now for an event to meet EAA’s high standards, made cancellation the only option for this year.
“Those of us involved in aviation know very well the importance of information gathering and planning prior to any flight, and I looked at AirVenture in much the same way before reaching this decision,” Pelton said. “While no one can see every eventuality, as we looked at the scenarios for holding the event in 2020, it was dependent on a number of important factors where there are currently no definitive answers. That is not the way to commit to an event that welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to Oshkosh from more than 90 countries.
“There is no way to describe the disappointment I feel for everyone who sees AirVenture as aviation’s family reunion each year. You can be assured that EAA is already eagerly looking forward to gathering along the AirVenture flightline on July 26 through August 1 in 2021.”
All pre-sold AirVenture 2020 admissions and camping reservations can be rolled over to the 2021 event or are eligible for refund. Those who have made such purchases will be contacted individually.