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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedWork On EAA AirVenture Site Enhancements Begins

Several buildings and facilities about the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh grounds now sit on blocks, awaiting relocation as part of the reconfiguration of the site. This one sits within view of the new Wittman Regional Airport control tower, first put into service for this summer's convention. The old control tower, visible in the distant background, will be razed in a matter of weeks.

Stakes in the ground, buildings on blocks, heavy equipment, mounds of fresh earth, stacks of saplings with canvas-wrapped roots…they're all signs that work on the AirVenture site enhancements has begun.

"After more than three years of gathering information, planning, and projecting, it's gratifying to launch the initial steps in the site reconfiguration and construction," EAA President Tom Poberezny said. Work is under way to clear paths for new thoroughfares, relocate structures, install or renovate amenities, and transplant trees for new shady green spaces.

During this summer's AirVenture convention, EAA unveiled the initial vision of the 10-year site-enhancement project, reiterated the fundamental goals underlying those plans, and collected additional feedback from members.

"We've used surveys and focus groups to better understand and prioritize members' needs. The resulting plan reflects the members' clear desire to preserve AirVenture's unique culture while making the facility improvements necessary to advance the convention's status as a world-class aviation event," Poberezny said.

Major features of the plan, many of which EAA will complete within the first five years, include new pathways and site navigation, improved transportation services, reconfigured outdoor exhibits, upgraded restroom and shower facilities, more campsite utility hookups, expanded wireless Internet access, and additional green spaces. "As a result of members' feedback during AirVenture, we've made some important refinements, such as extending the bicycle paths," Poberezny added.

Some of the changes to be in place for next year's convention will be conspicuous. Next year's attendees will experience the relocation of the front gate from its former site to a position roughly 200 feet farther west. From there, two new major thoroughfares will fan out to the northeast and southeast, cutting diagonally across an otherwise north-and-south, east-and-west site layout grid.

"These new boulevards are key to the site reconfiguration. They will provide more 'store front' access to exhibits, offer more efficient routes to convention attractions, allow for more convenient and timely tram service, and establish the boundaries of a restricted-vehicles zone at the heart of the convention grounds," Poberezny said.

Attendees to the 2009 event will also see progress on upgraded shower facilities, shady rest areas, campsite improvements, and other amenities. While EAA plans to complete some of this work in time for next year's convention, other projects will continue into the following year. Poberezny noted that numerous factors, including the weather, can affect implementation and construction time lines.

"We'll continue to provide regular updates on our progress," Poberezny said.


FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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