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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.

  

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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh


Volume 9, Number 8 August 3, 2008     

AirVenture: A shot in the arm for aviation
Final numbers won't be in for a few days, but nearly all indications point to a resounding success for EAA AirVenture 2008. That's the message EAA President Tom Poberezny gave the assembled media at his annual AirVenture wrap-up session early Sunday afternoon.

"This year's convention exceed my expectations, considering the high fuel process and a struggling economy," he said. "But the number of people attending looks to be on a par with last year, and we had more aircraft, showplanes, visiting aircraft.

"Yes, it's been a tough year economically for aviation, but this event is the shot in the arm aviation needed. Exhibitors report brisk sales, the programs offered were the deepest and broadest ever, and when asked what day would be the best to attend, the answer was, 'Every day."

Poberezny said the abundant programs and evening programs transformed AirVenture into a 24/7 weeklong event.

"This year, people stayed on the grounds at night. Crowds at Theater in the Woods ranged from 4,000 to 10,00 people. Every night in the Fly-In Theater there were five or six thousand people. A total of 1,200 activities throughout the week. AirVenture 24/7."

When asked about the reported site improvements EAA has planned, Poberezny mentioned they would initially focus on grounds improvements including campsite and outdoor amenities, along with transportation infrastructure.
"The initial expenditures will be about $3.2 million," he said. After the 2009 convention EAA plans to start work on enhancing the exhibit areas.

Looking ahead to 2009, Poberezny hinted at a multi-theme convention, including the arrival and showing of Virgin Galactic' White Knight Two "and - hopefully - SpaceShipTwo," he said. Also planned is a Concorde reunion, inviting flight crews and past passengers of the supersonic transport whose appearances at Oshkosh helped change how the aviation world looked at AirVenture; and a special tribute to mission aviation and the organizations that use flight to carry out their efforts throughout the world.

Poberezny pondered the re-occurring question, "Was this the best convention ever?"

For this year, it means a lot. We've worked harder than ever before to create value, to create a reason to come. But isn't just what we did this year. It reinforces the relationships that our members and the aviation community have with Oshkosh.

"It wasn't what we did over the last 3 months, it was what we did over the last 30-40 -50 years that caused people to come. I can reinforce to you very succinctly that the reason they came is not the airplanes. The reasons they came is the relationships, the people, the community."

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