EAA CEO & Chairman Jack Pelton Sums Up Success of AirVenture 2021

Published In Midwest Flyer Magazine Online October/November 2021 Issue

“This 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, staff, and participants on the way they came together to exceed our expectations and make AirVenture 2021 a truly memorable experience.”

Jack Pelton

Attendance: Approximately 608,000 – Only the third time attendance has surpassed 600,000 and within 5 percent of 2019’s record total. Comment from Pelton:

“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. 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.”

Total Aircraft: 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 including a record 1,420 vintage aircraft registered, plus 1,089 homebuilt aircraft, 354 warbirds, 148 aerobatic aircraft, 112 seaplanes, 33 ultralights, and 27 rotorcraft.

Camping: More than 12,000 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors alone!

Volunteers: More than 5,000 contributing more than 250,000 hours.

Commercial Exhibitors: 747.

Forums, Workshops, and Presentations: A total of 1,055 sessions hosted throughout the week.

Social Media, Internet and Mobile: 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 during the event were viewed 3.48 million times.

International Guests: Despite travel restrictions that greatly limited the number of attendees from other nations, EAA still welcomed visitors from 66 countries during the week.

The Gathering Shines: 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 that will be focused on EAA’s mission of growing participation in aviation.

Media: 567 media representatives on-site, from four 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

What’s ahead for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022, July 25-31?

Comment from Pelton:

“Planning is well underway for next year’s event, 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. 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.”

Information updates are posted at 

EAA.org/AirVenture

This entry was posted in All Headlines, EAA & AirVenture, Headlines, Headlines, October/November 2021 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply