While dozens of airshows have been canceled or postponed as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic, many fans have expressed their concerns for the crown jewel of the summer – EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.
Although the event is not until the end of July, it takes substantial set up, requiring volunteers and exhibitors to travel from all over the country and the world. The timeline for returning to normalcy is anyone’s guess at this point, but there are many experts who feel social distancing and travel restrictions could last into the summer or even the fall. The state of Wisconsin is currently under a “stay at home” order until at least April 24th, and further restrictions are possible beyond that point.
Earlier this week, EAA President and CEO Jack Pelton explained where the organization stands on holding the event.
My fellow EAAers, I’m writing this to address the status of AirVenture Oshkosh 2020. Today we are still planning on having the event beginning July 20, 2020. In that context, I wanted to let people know how we’re approaching the planning process for AirVenture, and to help people understand the timetable as we sort through the ever-changing world events.
Certainly, the world has changed dramatically in recent weeks with the global COVID-19 pandemic, beginning internationally and now at extremely concerning levels within the United States. Most of you reading this are impacted by state-by-state orders to stay home and follow specific CDC guidelines on social distancing, hygiene, and other precautions to slow the spread of the virus. The circumstances have changed rapidly here as well, with Wisconsin enacting a stay-at-home mandate until April 24. We are supportive of those restrictions, and at EAA we have closed our headquarters, with all staff working from home and adhering to the most stringent standards possible. But thankfully, due to the technology infrastructure investments we have made, a majority of our employees continue to focus on their daily tasks, which include production of your monthly magazine, digital offerings, and of course AirVenture planning.Jack Pelton, President and CEO of EAA
Pelton goes on to explain that on-site work for AirVenture does not start until May, and that they are already identifying what work could be pushed back into June or July if necessary.
Ultimately, EAA is waiting until early May to decide the fate of AirVenture. It is possible that the event could be pushed back, but it would require the support of vendors and volunteers, and Pelton does not see it being successfully held any later than the end of August.
With preparations continuing, EAA officially announced that the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Teams will be performing at AirVenture this year. The F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team also has Oshkosh on their schedule, which would make it the second year in a row that the show would feature three of the four US Air Force demonstrations. The US Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet Demonstration Team will also be performing at AirVenture this year.
While we continue to wait for that decision to be made, fill some of your isolation time by adding your own thoughts on our forums, enjoying our extensive video playlist for AirVenture 2019, and checking out a narrated look at some of the highlights thanks to our friends at This is Flight!