Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Digging in before the deep freeze

After some unseasonably warm temperatures and, of course, rain yesterday (along with a few rare November tornadoes in the state), a brisk chill is in the air and the flurries are a-blowin' today. Winter is right around the corner and we are getting as much as possible done on site before the grounds go into a deep freeze.

As I addressed in my last blog update, repairing and improving drainage around the grounds is the No. 1 priority going into AirVenture 2011. Judging from the member feedback we received from surveys, you agree that should be on top of the list. We are moving ahead with improving the drainage in three major areas that were most problematic last July: Camp Scholler, Warbirds area, and Vintage area. After work is done in those areas, we will move on to smaller, sporadic areas that could use some attention.

In these two photos, work has begun to improve drainage on Schaick Rd., just west of Doolittle Dr. in Camp Scholler.

One interesting item helping us in this process is the recent discovery of old, abandoned drainage tile buried on the grounds. As you may know, the grounds were vast farm fields long before it became home to EAA and AirVenture. Using these drainage outlets will only help us in our quest to eliminate problem areas where standing water could appear.

Another major improvement for 2011 will be chip-sealing more roads in Camp Scholler as well as Foundation Road leading out to the North 40 from Waukau Ave., which is a major part of our traffic loop. This was another major area noted on the survey feedback, as the chip-sealing of the exhibit areas as well as a few initial roads in Camp Scholler garnered rave reviews. Dust was noticeably less in the areas of chip-sealed roads than in previous years, and was a significant improvement from ordinary dirt/gravel roads by having the ability to withstand the rains much better.

Below, here you see potholes and standing water among the dust and gravel on Foundation Rd.

That's it for now, but I'll try to check back in after the holidays to give you an update of where we stand going into the spring thaw. Until then, safe flying and have a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Addressing the top concern

We are now under 300 short days until AirVenture 2011, but we are still in "repair" mode on the grounds thanks to the "100-Year Flood" dumped on Oshkosh this past July. Crews are reworking land and filling in the various ruts left behind from vehicles, trucks, campers, and aircraft.

They've just completed work in the exhibit area and are now moving over to tackle the ruts in Camp Scholler. This will be a large task and while a few smaller ruts might get overlooked, those should smooth out thanks to winter's snowfall and spring's thaw. After work is done in Camp Scholler, they'll move on to the aircraft parking areas.

Otherwise, we are currently conducting a plumbing survey on the grounds and establishing parameters on what steps are needed to move forward with drainage improvements. Our primary focus between now and AirVenture 2011 is to prepare the grounds in case the timeline for the next "100-Year Flood" begins next year.

This means we will temporarily put other anticipated site improvements from the multi-year plan on hold as we allocate funds to address this immediate concern. We are confident the improved drainage is a vital and necessary upgrade to compliment the recent improvements (indoor restrooms, new road routes, new shower building, chip-sealed roads, bike paths, etc.).

EAA is built on community. As we all saw this summer, the wet grounds forced us to relocate the larger RV camping units to satellite hard-surface lots scattered throughout Oshkosh. While many who were relocated made the best of the situation left by the unprecedented flooding (and we applaud everyone for their understanding), it obviously wasn't ideal.

The EAA and AirVenture community isn't complete if we can't get everyone who desires to be here on site.

Our AirVenture site committee is meeting later this week to outline the next steps. I'll check in at the end of October with the latest update.

Until then, clear skies for everyone!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hey! Gimme back my blog!

Woah! Looks like things got a little busy in here since I last posted before AirVenture. Time to tidy up the blog after having some visitors.

In all seriousness, a special thanks to Dick Knapinski, EAA director of communications, and the rest of the dedicated EAA staff and volunteers for helping get our messages out to you through this blog and keeping you updated on the grounds' status as we fought through this unprecedented occurrence at AirVenture.

And, more importantly, thanks to all of you for the understanding and patience you displayed in working with us as we turned "Sploshkosh" back to Oshkosh. We all came together for a common goal: turning an unpleasant situation into a rewarding and memorable experience. Judging by the positive interactions I've had with several attendees and exhibitors, I truly believe we all succeeded in doing just that.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be evaluating the areas greatly impacted by the flooding and assess how we can improve the drainage in these areas. The goal will be to alleviate these issues should we experience rainfall like this in future years. Knock on wood, we won't.

It's been fairly dry here over the past week and a half since AirVenture 2010 concluded. I guess it's only fitting that as I write this we're experiencing more torrential rains here today in Oshkosh (surely I can't be the jinx, can I?).

We are still in tear-down and clean-up mode for the next week or so. From there, we will start re-landscaping and doing repair work on the grass and other areas damaged by the flooding (most notably, repairing the sod in the new Scotts Warbirds Alley that didn't have time to root) before we turn our attention to 2011.

Just exactly what upgrades can you expect in 2011? I'll be able to fill you in next month with more details following all of our debriefing meetings, which will lay out the direction we'd like to go next in our on-going site improvements project. Whatever improvements we do make for next year, I hope they are received just as well as this year's upgrades were.

Obviously the one major upgrade that benefited most, if not all, was the new indoor restrooms in the expanded Hangar C. They were simple and fit the basic needs of attendees, allowing you to get in and get back out into the heart of the grounds quickly (or not so quickly for those relishing the air conditioning a little bit longer than others).

Adding to the benefit of the new Hangar C restroom was the tram stop stationed right in front of it. The new trams were a nice addition to ease the need to walk throughout the grounds, especially during those steamy afternoons we had. I was thrilled to see so many people taking advantage of these and catch a bit of a break in the shade.

The newly chip-sealed roads in the exhibits area created smooth walking paths relatively free of dust. Without this done, one can only imagine how mucky those paths would've been due to all the rain. Speaking of paths, the new bike path connecting the North 40 to the Main Gate was well-utilized, not only by bicyclists but also by those choosing to walk.

The new shower building on the North 40 was completed just in time to serve the community up there. Unfortunately, the North 40 was a little roomier this year due to the soggy grounds early in the week keeping potential aircraft campers away. So those of you who were out in the North 40 area likely had little or no wait for the showers. Even some quick-thinking campers from other parts of the grounds took their golf carts up to the North 40 to clean up in the new showers. We hope it can be put to more use next year to serve a North 40 full of tent campers.

One final note: I would be remise if I didn't offer up a big "hats off" to all the staff, volunteers and contractors who worked around the curveball (or several curveballs) thrown by Mother Nature leading up to AirVenture, not only from the downpours just days before but also from the excessive rains we began experiencing weeks prior. That definitely slowed our ability to complete several projects, but everyone involved was dedicated to completing the tasks at hand on time and to the satisfaction level that AirVenture attendees come to expect from Oshkosh.

Tom Poberezny said the flooding made preparations "the most challenging" he has seen in his 35 years as chairman, but also noted that "the positive response and the upbeat spirit from all those who attended" made this a very memorable and enjoyable AirVenture.

I could not agree with him more. And again, a large part of that is due to all of you showing patience, working with us, and, in most cases, adjusting your usual camping routine and set-up as we tackled this challenge head-on. You are truly a main reason why Oshkosh is such a special place.

It cannot be said enough: Thank you!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday 7/31 update #2: Drive-in camping

Normal operations continue to take place at Camp Scholler, as they have since Thursday. Camping units of all sizes are being accommodated as they arrive.

Campers at off-site locations earlier in the week should have received all information regarding refunds and credits.

There is no significant rain the forecast that would change normal operations through the end of the event tomorrow. If conditions do warrant a change, it would be announced before the event.

We have received some questions from campers about procedures that, unfortunately, we could not answer because they were posted without a return e-mail or contact information. Those questions are welcome, but contact info does need to be included if you'd like a response.

Since there's just one night remaining, this will be the last drive-in camping blog post unless conditions warrant an update. Thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding during this most challenging year, and especially thanks to all the volunteers for their dedication and long hours to make it happen!

Saturday 7/31 update #1: Aircraft parking and camping

Complete aircraft parking info is available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

The north grass taxiways are now usable, but the ones south of Runway 9/27 are not. Some turf areas will not support twin-engine aircraft. Metal matting has been placed in critical soft spots on the turf taxiways.

Modified taxi procedures are being used to provide access to General Aviation Camping areas.

Fond du Lac (FLD) is is open for camping and parking aircraft.

Appleton (ATW) is accepting parking aircraft; camping is not allowed at Appleton.

Aircraft seeking aircraft camping or parking are also being accepted at Manitowoc (MTW), West Bend (ETB), Stevens Point (STE), Watertown (RYV), Portage (C47), and Dodge County (UNU).

Oshkosh showplane camping and parking areas are currently open for new arrivals. These areas accommodate:
- Experimental aircraft (homebuilts)
- Vintage Aircraft (manufactured prior to 1971)
- Warbirds
- Seaplanes
- Rotorcraft
- Ultralights

The General Aviation Camping and the General Aviation Parking Areas are expected to remain open for the duration of AirVenture.

There is no grass space suitable for twin-engine aircraft and heavy singles. They can be accommodated at the Oshkosh FBOs.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday 7/29 update #3: Aircraft parking/camping

Full updated parking information is always available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

Clear skies today helped dry aircraft parking areas in the North 40. North grass taxiways are now usable, but the ones south of Runway 9/27 are not. Most turf areas will not support twin-engine aircraft. Metal matting has been placed in critical soft spots on the turf taxiways.

Modified taxi procedures are being used to provide access to General Aviation Camping areas. As always, pilots should use extra caution whenever taxiing off of paved surfaces.

Fond du Lac (FLD) is is open for camping and parking aircraft.

Appleton (ATW) is accepting parking aircraft; camping is not allowed at Appleton.

Aircraft seeking aircraft camping or parking are also being accepted at Manitowoc (MTW), West Bend (ETB), Stevens Point (STE), Watertown (RYV), Portage (C47), and Dodge County (UNU).

Oshkosh showplane camping and parking areas are currently open for new arrivals. These areas accommodate:
- Experimental aircraft (homebuilts)
- Vintage Aircraft (manufactured prior to 1971)
- Warbirds
- Seaplanes
- Rotorcraft
- Ultralights

General Aviation Areas

When OSH opens after today's airshow, the General Aviation Camping Area and the General Aviation Parking Area will be closed to new arrivals. They will open later in the evening if there are sufficient number of departures to open spaces.

Twin-engine aircraft and heavy singles must seek accommodtions at one of the Oshkosh FBOs.

Thursday 7/29 update #2: Aircraft parking camping

Complete aircraft parking information is available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp

The General Aviation Camping Area is now closed to new arrivals. The General Aviation Parking Area is still open to new arrivals. Clear skies today helped dry aircraft parking areas. However, numerous spots of soft ground are still interspersed among solid areas in the General Aviation Camping and Parking areas and especially in the grass taxiways that provide access to the areas. Crews continue to survey the grounds to locate areas that are safe for aircraft parking and that are also accessable from Oshkosh runways. Metal matting has been placed in critical soft spots on the turf taxiways.

Oshkosh showplane camping and parking areas are currently open for new arrivals. These areas accommodate:
- Experimental aircraft (homebuilts)
- Vintage Aircraft (manufactured prior to 1971)
- Warbirds
- Seaplanes
- Rotorcraft
- Ultralights

Thursday 7/29 update #1: Drive-in camping

If you're coming to AirVenture for the weekend, Camp Scholler is ready for you! The grounds have been drying where Class A rigs are able to be brought in. All campers who wished to return to the grounds from the off-site areas are now back at Camp Scholler. We'll continue to watch the weather for the nxt 48 hours and adjust as necessary.

Tent campers and light units continue to be welcomed as well. The changes certainly have thrown off the normal operating procedure, for both registrations and logistics in the campgrounds. We appreciate everybody's patience and understanding!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday 7/28 update #2: Drive-in camping

While Tuesday night's rains were not as heavy as expected, the rain does prevent the entry of Class A-type rigs and motorhomes to Camp Scholler this morning. The situation will coninue to be monitored through the day.

Units that were parked at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds have been moved to Camp Scholler or other locations. Almost all other units that wished to return to Camp Scholler have been accommodated. Campers in all off-site areas have been informed as to credit policies for campers in those areas.

Tent campers and light units are being accommodated at Camp Scholler at all times.

Sun and wind today is expected to dry the grounds further.

Wednesday 7/28 update #1: aircraft parking

Complete aircraft parking informnatuon is always available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

Taxiway issues at Oshkosh are expected to keep General Aviation aircraft parking areas closed for much or all of this morning.

Overnight rains have not been as heavy as anticipated. However, numerous spots of soft ground are still interspersed among solid areas in the General Aviation Camping and Parking areas. Crews continue to survey the grounds to locate areas that are safe for aircraft parking and that are also accessable from Oshkosh runways. Special metal matting has been placed in critical soft spots on the turf taxiways.

Modified taxi procedures are being used to provide access to General Aviation Camping areas. As always, pilots should use extra caution whenever taxiing off of paved surfaces.

Showplane areas at Oshkosh are also affected, but temporary space has been found for anticipated showplane arrivals.

Fond du Lac (FLD) is is open for camping and parking aircraft.

Appleton (ATW) is accepting parking aircraft; camping is not allowed at Appleton.

Aircraft seeking aircraft camping or parking are also being accepted at Manitowoc (MTW), West Bend (ETB), Stevens Point (STE), Watertown (RYV), Portage (C47), and Dodge County (UNU).

Showplane Areas

Oshkosh showplane camping and parking areas are currently open for new arrivals. These areas accommodate:
- Experimental aircraft (homebuilts)
- Vintage Aircraft (manufactured prior to 1971)
- Warbirds
- Seaplanes
- Rotorcraft
- Ultralights

General Aviation Areas

The General Aviation Camping and Parking areas were closed to new arrivals this morning. New taxi routes are being developed and these areas are anticipated to be opened later today. Watch for updated status on this site and on the arrival ATIS.

Tips for all arriving pilots

Have the latest NOTAM and ATIS information from Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH) prior to your arrival. Be sure to have a copy of the 2010 AirVenture NOTAM with you when you arrive.

Note new arrival ATIS frequency: 125.9.

The parking status information from this page is also available via a recorded telephone message at 920-230-7820.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday 7/27 update #3: Auto Parking

Working with local law enforcement officials, some alterations were made to the traffic situation to help the traffic flow today, after campers and other vehicles traffic merged and slowed things down some on Monday. The traffic loop is similar to what has been done in past years.

Today's weather has improved the situation, and the plan includes using more of the Orange Lot, all of the Blue Lot near the Main Gate, and most of the Brown and Grey Lots. The Red and Green lots are still somewhat limited.

Traffic patterns will be altered to move vehicles as rapidly as possible, espeically if any additional rain falls within the next 24 hours. Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday 7/27 update #2: Drive-in camping

EAA is creating a plan to bring some of the big camping rigs back to Camp Scholler for the remainder of their AirVenture stay if they wish.

In the interest of full disclosure, we’d like to mention the following:
-- There is rain in the forecast for Wednesday, which could set back the progress made in drying Camp Scholler so far;
-- There are only a limited number of spaces available for the Class A-type rigs in Camp Scholler;
-- Our priorities remain your safety, protection of your vehicles/equipment, and ensuring that you are able to attend and enjoy the event.

We’re heard from quite a few off-site campers that this year’s experience has been unique, but still a good deal of fun in many ways. EAA has tried to provide amenities to assure as positive an experience as possible. And we especially appreciate your understanding and patience through a situation none of us had before experienced at this event.

Some of you have already told us that you plan to stay in an off-site location for the duration of your AirVenture visit. That’s fine – there’s a lot of great event still ahead this week and we’d love for you to be a part of it.

Campers in each area will receive more specific information regarding the process and other questions they may have. It’s been an Oshkosh like no other, and we all will have plenty of stories to tell our friends back home. Thanks for your understanding and being here this year!

Tuesday 7/27 update #1: Aircraft arrivals

As always, the latest parking information is available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

North 40/General aviation parking is welcomed today as the grounds continue to dry. Some areas are allowing parking only and setting up campers in separate areas on the North 40.

Aircraft are also being taxied on the North 40 perimeter road to keep them on hard surfaces for longer periods of time.

Showplane parking and camping areas are open and welcoming aircraft. In many areas, aircraft are being pushed to locations instead of powered taxi. That could cause delays.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday 7/26 update #5: Auto parking

A big Monday crowd with some wet lots put added pressure on the auto parking crew. Cars coming off Hwy 26 mingled with campers entering Camp Scholler, which slowed both groups down. In addition, moving traffic to the Grey Lot was slower than expected and will be improved for Tuesday.

Today we used only about half of the Orange Lot, part of the Red Lot, and none of the Green Lot, which limited parking slots. Today's weather improved the situation, and Tuesday's plan includes more of the Orange Lot, all of the Blue Lot near the Main Gate, and most of the Brown and Grey Lots. The Red and Green lots are somewhat limited.

Traffic patterns will be altered to move vehicles as rapidly as possible. Thanks for your patience!

Monday 7/26 update #4: Aircraft arrivals

As always, updated aircraft parking information is available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

At about 7 pm CDT, general aviation (North 40) parking and camping was closed for the evening. A late influx of aircraft filled the available parking positions and and surrounding taxiways. It will take until dark to move those aircraft to parking and camping positions.

The situation will be evaluated again on Tuesday morning before deciding when to open.

Showplane camping and parking remains open, however, until NOTAM daily closure time of 8 pm CDT.

Fond du Lac (FLD) has re-opened to all camping and parking arrivals, and Appleton (ATW) is accepting parking arrivals. Manitowoc and West Bend are also accepting parking and camping arrivals.

Monday 7/26 update #3: Aircraft arrivals

Updated parking informnation is available at all times at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp. Also check the Oshkosh ATIS for ATC information.

Wittman Regional Airport is now open to all inbound arrivals, including general aviation/North 40. There are still some wet spots in the North 40, so arriving pilots may be asked to park in one location to ensure safe parking of the aircraft, and use their tent in camping areas. Crews will continue to monitor status of wet areas and open them after they have dried sufficiently.

Volunteers are moving aircraft into position as quickly as possible, but conditions may require hand-pushing of airplanes instead of taxiing. That takes additonal time and may slow the parking of aircraft after arrival.

As of 1 pm CDT Fond du Lac Airport was still closed to arrivals. Appleton is open for parking.

Monday 7/26 update #2: Drive-in camping

Another good day means more drying in Camp Scholler. While it's still not ready for the Class A camping units yet, it's much better. It will be at least a day or two before those large units can be placed in Camp Scholler.

The Winnebago County Fairgrounds have been a godsend for parking large units, since there is plenty of space. All the off-site areas are receiving dumpsters, portable toilets and shuttle service, as well as a daily printed piece that answers various questions.

For those in Camp Scholler, if there are logistics items that need assistant, please let the camper security or registration people know. With the road conditions in the campground, some roads are still very muddy, making logistics difficult.

Camper registration closed last night once again after sunset. It was almost impossible to gauge the formness of specific areas in the dark, and we didn't want to make the wrong guess without seeing the site.

Thanks again for your patience and understanding during this most memorable year in Camp Scholler!

Monday 7/26 update #1: Aircraft arrivals

After a look at the grounds this morning and meeting with all the aircraft ops staff and volunteers, showplane arrivals will resume this morning. Pilots of showplanes should listen to the Wittman Regional Airport ATIS at 125.9 or access it by phone at 866-493-5553, to determine the exact time when showplane arrivals will be accepted.

The North 40 is still being evaluated, with the goal of opening it sometime today. The pace of other arrivals will determine the exact time.

All areas continued to dry late yesterday and overnight, and sunshine with light breezes today promise to give the field even more drying time.

Complete aircraft parking information is available online at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday 7/25 update #8: Drive-in camping

Camping registration will continue into the evening at Camp Scholler, as long as there is available and usable sites, difficulties with maneuvering campers in the dark, or a lack of arriving campers. If that situation occurs, a controlled shutdown of camping registration for the evening -- meaning that the entry way would be cleared but no further arrivals would be accepted -- would take place and registration would begin again at 7 am Monday.

More space is being created in Camp Scholler on an incremental basis, allowing groups of 5 or 6 tent or light camping units to move into positions at one time. That's a major improvement over the 1 or 2 at a time that was common on Saturday.

Large units are now being escorted to the Winnebago County Fairgrounds on the north side of Oshkosh. That facility has plenty of room to accommodate the Class A rigs and other large camping units.

For the off-site camping areas, we appreciate everyone's patience and hearty attitudes. It's certainly different than past years at Oshkosh. In addition, every local business or governmental unit EAA contacted has been willing and eager to assist. It shows the support the community has for everyone who attends AirVenture.

For all those off-site areas, portable toilets and dumpsters have been provided. Shuttle service is being established to the AirVenture grounds. A daily update of information and outlook is being published and distributed to each of those areas, and an EAA representative is present at each area to answer questions.

During the day, we're trying to work with the bigger units to get them out of line and started to the alternate site as quickly as possible. Sometimes it can be a wait, but the volunteers and staff are working as quickly as possible (more volunteers are always welcome each year, by the way...).

We'll continue to evaluate the progress of the grounds throughout the evening and tomorrow morning, and keep you posted as to changing conditions. Thanks again!

Sunday 7/26 update #7: Aircraft arrivals

Updated aircraft parking information is available online at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

Aircraft arrivals are still coming to the area, and today was an excellent day for drying. The airport is still closed to nearly all arrivals, but the plan is to open aircraft parking and camping areas on Monday. The exact times will be announced Monday after the morning evaluation of the parking areas.

The first priority will be to clear Taxiway Papa (parallel and west of Runway 18/36), which has been used for temporary parking. Homebuilts and vintage aircraft are parked there and also on Taxiway P-2. Some other area are also being considered in case additional temporary parking is needed.

Fond du Lac Airport is now filled. Appleton (ATW) is accepting aircraft for parking only, while Manitowoc (MTW) is accepting aircraft for parking and camping.

In the warbird area, there was a steady flow of arrivals. L-Birds and T-6s were being parked on grass.

Crews are evaluating all parking areas through the evening and will do so again starting at sunrise on Monday. All parking and arrival decisions will be based on the ability to safely park aircraft and maintaining safety on the grounds.

Sunday 7/26 update #6: Aircraft arrivals

As many vintage, warbird and homebuilt aircraft that could be safely parked have been positioned in the showplane areas -- more than 350 today -- so Wittman Regional closed to new arrivals at 2 pm CDT today. Will continue to look for dry locations and move aircraft off taxiways to grass parking over next few hours, then re-evaluate at 5 p.m.

Aircraft being parked in commercial exhibits will continue to be accepted. Most of those airplanes have already arrived and have been positioned.

North 40 continues to dry well. Promising for Monday but will continue to check every hour and make determination late today or Monday morning.

Fond du Lac (FLD) has aircraft camping available and Appleton and Manitowoc have aircraft parking.

Updated parking information also available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

Sunday 7/25 update #5: Drive-in camping

Large rigs are being moved to the Country USA grounds, across Highway 41 from Camp Scholler. Tent and other light camping units are being registered (even in the line at times), and allowed into dry areas within Camp Scholler. Additional registration efforts have been set up to speed along the lines. We are allowing people into the grounds as rapidly as dry areas are located. We appreciate your patience and flexibility with some of these unprecedented situations.

In addition, information is being distributed to owners Class A and larger rigs that are camped in off-site areas regarding such items as water sources, dump stations, etc.

Sunday 7/25 update #4: Aircraft arrivals

As always, updated information on aircraft parking is available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp

There have been plenty of arrivals today, with showplanes (homebuilt, vintage, warbirds, etc.) taking priority. North 40/general aviation campers have been asked to re-route to Fond du Lac (which has camping) or Appleton (parking only).

The vintage parking area has received a large number of arrivals, including and are using Taxiway Papa to stage the aircraft while dry parking spots are being found. "The "paved ditch" area might also be available if necessary to accommodate vintage and homebuilt aircraft temporarily.

In the homebuilt area, the P-1 taxiway is being used, and more areas are drying for homebuilt parking and camping. Aircraft will be set in those areas as conditions allow.

In warbirds, some of the L-Birds are being brought onto turf parking this afternoon, but the heavy bomber row will neeed at least today to dry adeqautely.

Fond du Lac Airport (FLD) does have aircraft camping, and has closed Runway 9/27 to allow additonal parking and camping. There is no camping at Appleton, only aircraft parking.

Also, in grass aircraft camping areas, no fuel trucks are being allowed in the aircraft rows, to prevent ruts and other problems. Pilots who have aircraft parked on temporary hard surfaces at Wittman Regional Airport also should remember that they must wait for transportation and cannot walk over active runways and taxiways. They also cannot return to their aircraft across those areas without permission.

Sunday 7/25 update #3: Auto parking

Today is the first day where auto parking moves into the equation. As with the camping and aircraft areas, the ground conditions have required that adjsutments be made. For today:

- Spot parking will be done in the Blue, Orange and portions of the Red Lot. That should handle the influx expected on Sunday.
- Off-site parking for exhibitor trailers is being pursued so some of the lots usually used for exhibitor trailer parking can be used for auto parking instead.
- Some of the permit lots will not be available today. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it's a better option than allowing vehicles to drive in those areas and potentially get stuck.

With the sun today, it's expected that considerable drying will take place. Crews are continually checking each lot for progress through the day. We hope that all public lots will be available for Monday's opening day.

Sunday 7/25 update #2: Drive-In camping

The tremendous volunteers are much refreshed after a night to rest. Usually they assist people at the entrance and on an as-needed basis within the campground. For the past two days, they have extended their shifts and individually escorted many people to campsites, and also tended to those who have been parked off-site in the big camping rigs and motorhomes.

Sorry about any inconvenience that shutting off registration last night may have caused. As I mentioned last night, the admissions group was at the end of its limits, and we preferred not having campers trying to find their way through the dark, especially if it's in a location where they might not be familiar. It's a unique year, and the folks out there are going the extra mile to accommodate as many people as possible. Most attendees have been incredibly patient and understanding, as we know EAA members are. The volunteers and staff appreciate that.

Also, EAA staff and volunteers will be going through some of the off-site areas later today and tomorrow with information on the most frequently asked questions, such as dump station options and other key info.

This morning, the Country USA grounds across the highway from EAA have been opened to the Class A rigs and heavy units. That will add considerable territory and allow us to move more units into position.

One item that was passed along -- if you brought a four-wheeler or other extra vehicle and are in Camp Scholler, please be considerate and don't use that vehicle on the turf roads. Those ATVs chew up turf in a hurry, and it may mean your car (or your neighbor's) gets stuck later. When the roads become impassable, it also means things such as port-a-pottie pumping and maintenance is delayed. Not a good thing.

Sunday update 7/25 #1: Aircraft arrivals

Good morning! The homebuilt and vintage aircraft parking volunteers are starting to bring some showplanes into parking positions, but it's still somewhat slow. Want to make sure to do it right. Sometimes it's move 20 feet to advance 5.

In homebuilt, the RV parking area seems to be doing the best, with airplanes being positioned there.

Vintage aircraft areas are drying slowly and volunteers there are being careful to preserve aircraft and the turf. Some locations are dry; some have mushy ground or visibile water.

In warbirds, there is a enough hard surface parking to welcome expected arrivals today. Lighter aircraft are being placed on the turf on an individual basis. There are some spots drying well with others that are still quite soft.

We're encouraging North 40/general transient aircraft to use Appleton and Fond du Lac at least for today. The ATIS information is also stating that. That will allow us to get showplanes parked and free up more room if we need hard surface to park North 40 aircraft. So your help is much appreciated.

The AirVenture Cup racers will stay in Fond du Lac for the time being before coming up as a mass arrival.

The crews have done a marvelous job and working as fast as conditions allow. They are checking all areas of the field each hour to see what areas may be opening. Taxiway Papa will continue to be used as a staging area before homebuilts and vintage aircraft are parked. If conditions remain soft, other options could be considered as well.

The next meeting is late this morning, so we'll have an update after that. Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday 7/24 update #10: Camp Scholler arrivals

Lots of camper activity today, and we're going to close Camp Scholler registration for the night (it's about 8:15 pm CDT). The campground needs some additional time to dry for tent and small-unit campers, and we're arranging for more hard surface for the big Class A-type rigs.

Check back in the morning, around 6:30 am and we'll have an update. Thanks for your patience with a situation that most of us haven't seen before at Oshkosh, and especially thanks to all the volunteers for putting in a very long day.

Saturday 7/24 update #9: Aircraft arrivals

It's been a long day for the aircraft ops group, but one that brought some significant progress. Tom Poberezny noted that Sunday's goal is to open some sort of homebuilt and vintage parking on Sunday morning. Vintage will be moving some planes from Taxiway Papa to the Vintage parking area as a test early Sunday. If all goes well, additional vintage aircraft will be placed and homebuilts will also be moved into parking areas.

In the warbirds area, some light aircraft are being positioned on turf parking areas, but the bomber line area probably needs another day of drying. Runway 4/22 and other hard surfaces are serving as excellent temporary parking locations for other warbird aircraft.

In the North 40, crews will assess the situation on Sunday morning. It's likely that transient aircraft camping and parking will remain closed through at least Sunday morning, with a further determination being made at that time. The big "super sucker" trucks that have been vacuuming water from throughout the grounds this weekend could be employed in some areas.

One other note: since many aircraft were or will be delayed in arriving at Oshkosh this weekend, more time to arrive on Monday is being explored. Necessary adjustments to allow more arrivals would change the showcase flying and air show schedule that day.

Time for everyone to rest a little. Kudos to all their efforts. They'll be back at it at sunrise (or sooner) on Sunday!

Saturday 7/24 update #8: Drive-in camping

Smaller camping units and tent campers are still being placed in Camp Scholler in the driest areas that can be found. The sites with water and electrical hookups are mostly unavailable at this time.

Additional areas to park large Class A-type rigs are still being secured. These off-site locations will allow the big rigs to park safely while Camp Scholler continues to dry and firm up.

Although advance camping purchases for Sunday and Monday nights are no longer available, all are welcome to purchase camping credentials at the Camp Scholler entrance. Large units that must park off-site because of the wet conditions will be directed to the appropriate location.

As Camp Scholler's annual expansion continues, the conditions have created a situation where it's important for people to be courteous to one another. The grounds situation forced EAA to eliminate the borders between such areas as generator-operation sites, campers with pets and the like, so we're asking a few extra favors from campers:

-- If you have a generator, please observe an unofficial curfew of 10:30 p.m. This is a courtesy for your neighbors.
-- If you have a pet in your camping unit, be especially attentive of the pet's whereabouts and behavior.
-- Please limit driving on the campground roads, as they are still in a fragile state and need more time to dry.

Most Oshkosh visitors already do this as a part of their DNA. But we're all in this together, so a little extra courtesy is always a great thing as we head toward opening day.

Saturday 7/24 update #7: Aircraft arrivals

The aircraft ops team's update session was late this afternoon, and there's good news. Showplanes that had been parked on hard surfaces on the north and northeast side of the airport are being re-positioned on Taxiway Papa (parallel to Runway 18/36) later this evening and tomorrow morning. Volunteers in those areas are organizing ways to bring the aircraft to the taxiway and be ready for possible parking on Sunday. EAA's goal is to sequentially open the grass aircraft parking areas at some point tomorrow. Homebuilts will be the first allowed to park, followed by vintage aircraft. If those parking efforts are successful, and then, hopefully either late Sunday or on Monday, other general aviation aircraft and those in the North 40 could begin parking in the regular areas. If any of those events do occur, the exact times will be announced, and will be based on safety for the aircraft and the grounds.

The Oshkosh ATIS still notes that the aircraft camping and parking areas are still closed. Non-showplane GA aircraft could be diverted to Appleton or Fond du Lac. There is a limited amount of hard-surface parking at Oshkosh.

In the warbirds area, the hard surface parking is filling nicely on Runway 4/22, which is the usual hard-surface parking area for warbirds. In addition, some areas are showing promise as drying continues with good weather forecast.

In the North 40, volunteers and EAA staff are continuing to check the firmness of the parking areas each hour to determine when and where some parking might be allowed.

Among of the other mass arrivals that had not been previosuly announced -- the Cessna arrival will not take place Sunday, with an exact arrival still to be scheduled. Meanwhile, the Comanche mass arrival has been scrubbed, with individual aircraft able to arrive on their own.

Several DC-3s are scheduled to arrive at Oshkosh on Sunday, and will be parked in the most suitable areas that protect the aircraft and grounds.

The operations group is scheduled to meet one more time this evening, and we'll pass along any updates!

Saturday 7/24 update #6: Auto parking

Along with aircraft parking areas and the campgrounds, EAA staff and volunteers are continuing to monitor the status of auto parking lots, with some visitors arriving on Sunday before the official opening day on Monday, July 26.

At the current rate of drying, it appears that the auto lots will be in adequate shape for opening day. For visitors to AirVenture on Sunday, July 25, the Red and Orange auto lots will be used, as they are currently in the best shape.

Further updates on auto parking lots and other areas of the AirVenture grounds will be posted as they develop.

Saturday 7/24 update #5: Drive-in camping

Campers are still lining up to check in at AirVenture. Tent campers are being allowed to find a dry spot of their choosing in the campground. They are encouraged to find a location and settle in instead of driving excessively in the campground roads.

With the conditions, the emphasis is on finding suitable locations, so the usual boundaries between handicapped, 24-hour generator and other areas are no longer being used.

The big rigs are still being held to the hard surfaces, in and out of Camp Scholler.

The volunteers are doing a great job on every level -- greeting campers, escorting them to positions and providing services to those who might find themselves "in a little too deep" on certain roadways.

Some areas in the campground, especially those on higher knolls that are receiving direct sunlight, are beginning to dry.

There's still more than a day to go before opening day, and with good weather forecast, the status is aimed at steady improvement.

Saturday 7/24 update #4: Aircraft arrivals

A sunny, breezy afternoon has helped the field conditions enough that we can start devising a plan for when we can start parking showplanes. The only question is when.
The goal today is to get showplanes, such as homebuilts and vintage aircraft, into position on hard surfaces near the flight line. That way, it will be easier to put them in parking and camping position as conditions allow.

The plan is based on areas that seem to be drying fastest. Homebuilts and ultralights would be brought in first, followed by vintage aircraft, then warbirds, and finally those who plan to park in the North 40. As we move showplanes off the hard surfaces on the north side, it will open more space for other aircraft there.

There is no exact time for that to occur, and it would be Sunday at the earliest. We are continuing to monitor each parking area hourly, and all parking will be done with the emphasis on aircraft and grounds safety. Inbound pilots can also monitor the AirVenture parking page at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

In other updates, the Mooney mass arrival has been scrubbed and those aircraft will arrive individually. The Bonanzas will land in Manitowoc instead, and then bus to Oshkosh. A truck with their camping supplies will meet them at the North 40, and they will have a tent camping compound in the North 40.

In addition, exhibitor aircraft are being brought in individually and palced on hard surfaces. The only aircraft that are delayed are heavier aircraft that will be exhibited on turf areas.

Saturday 7/24 update #3: Drive-in camping

Here's the latest on what's happening at Camp Scholler:

EAA volunteers are selectively placing tent campers in Camp Scholler on high ground. As conditions continue to dry areas of the campground, more tent campers can be allowed in.

All other camping units, including motorhomes, fifth-wheels, and pull-behind units, are allowed to register, then guided to hard surface areas off the EAA site for temporary parking. This procedure keeps those larger units from becoming stuck on the grounds, and also preserves the grounds.

We've been in contact with many people throughout Oshkosh, and had an outstanding response. You'll see units parked in the Aviation Plaza lot just northwest of the airport, the former Russ Darrow Kia lot across Highway 41, the former Sears/Kmart store on Koeller Ave., and other locations. Thanks to everyone who has pitched in welcome our guests. These areas should handle the camper influx today.

The campground is being assessed on an hourly basis to determine what areas are suitable for tents, and when larger units can be brought in.

Everyone's spirits have been great and almost everyone has been very understanding. And just to show the sense of humor hasn't been lost, we leave you with this photo from this morning, showing the "no-wake zone" along one of the roadways. Sun's out right now, and we still have 1.5 days until opening day to get ready!

Taking back control

Just left a meeting with all the aircraft parking and camping areas on the AirVenture grounds, and there's a little more optimism than during this morning's rain shower. Some areas are draining better than expected, but there's still a way to go before airplanes can taxi across the sodden sod.

You see here Tom P. discussing the options with the group. The priority for arrivals will be showplanes (homebuilts, vintage, ultralights, warbirds, etc.), while the airport will remain closed to parking and camping by other general aviation aircraft. The airport leadership found some additional hard surface area that can be used for parking showplanes. The warbirds area is also taking arrivals and parking them on hard surfaces, such as Runways 4/22 and 13/31 that are typically closed during AirVenture.

As Tom put it, "Before the weather was in control, now we can be in control."

As conditions get better, showplanes and exhibitor aircraft will have priority to be brought to grass and turf parking. Decisions on the mass arrivals will be made through Saturday, working with those individual groups and FAA. Just a reminder that updated aircraft parking information for AirVenture is available at www.airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp.

Also, a note of thanks to the surrounding airports, such as Appleton and Fond du Lac, that are handling arrivals, too. They're doing great. The folks at the Manitowoc Airport have been generous with offering the facilities there and planning to bring people over, while the Cherokee pilots have found a home at the Waupaca airport and will bring motorcoaches over to the event next week. It's a great show of working together to make the event work.

The Show Must Go On

That's probably the best way to put it. Hi, I'm Dick Knapinski from the EAA staff, one of several people who have hijacked Steve Taylor's blog for the next few days to update you on what is going on throughout the AirVenture site. Steve's pretty busy racing around with all the extra needs on-site because of the rain we've received. Even in a normal year, Steve is "the hardest working man in show business" during AirVenture week, so we don't think he'll mind if we steal his space for a bit.

You may have heard that it's pretty wet in Oshkosh. You're right. It has rained a lot -- a record 10-plus inches in July, according to the local paper.

That's the bad news. The rain has altered what we're doing and how we're doing it to welcome the world to Oshkosh. For instance, as of this morning all aircraft camping and parking areas (transient, homebuilt, vintage, and ultralight) are temporarily closed. All ground operations are on hard surfaces such as taxiways. Protecting the airplanes and the grounds are the top priorities. We'll have regular updates on aircraft parking/camping status at the "Planning/Flying To AirVenture" area at airventure.org.

The good news is that the sun is out and the forecast looks pretty good for the next several days. Here's a current glance out one window at the EAA museum. There are still two days until opening day, who spirits are still high around here.

One quick word about our volunteers: Wow. They have been amazing, pulling extra shifts to keep things going under very trying circumstances.

We'll be coming to you during these final two days of prep to start, so follow us to see how things develop through the weekend.

Tom Poberezny just poked his head into my workspace. He read a John Wooden quote today he thinks is pretty apt for this situation: "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pictures say thousands of words

Hard to believe that in one week, this gate will be open!

These days fly by so fast. That's usually the case when you're having fun ... and that's what we've been having the past several months in as we continue the on-going upgrades to the AirVenture grounds.

Along with everyone at EAA, I would like to sincerely thank our hard-working volunteers who have been lending helping hands over the past few weeks since Camp Scholler opened bright and early on June 25. As you probably know, we've had a little more than enough rain in recent weeks, so it's great to have dedicated individuals come together to pitch in wherever needed. It's another big reason in a long list of what makes AirVenture so special.

I know everyone is getting anxious to get into the grounds and experience AirVenture and all the upgrades. Instead of words, I'm going to let the pictures do the talking. We still have some landscaping and tidying up to do around the grounds (thanks to Mother Nature), but we should be all set to go by the time the gates open next Monday morning.

The new Warbirds in Review presentation pad has an early arrival ...

... and Scotts Warbird Alley has plenty of freshly laid sod ...

... surrounding the new addition to the Warbirds building.

The finishing touches are being applied to the area around and inside the North 40 shower building ...

... which will feature individual shower stalls ...

... as well as private showers accessible through solid doors from the outside.

North 40 residents will enjoy a new bike path from the Main Gate area ...

... leading to the North 40 aircraft camping area.

Expect less dust in several areas, including major roads in Camp Scholler, thanks to chip sealing.

Speaking of Camp Scholler, early arrivals are already making home in approximately 250 campsites with electric and water hookups ...

... and has several of the nearly 50 Wi-Fi stations and hot spots scattered throughout the grounds, like this one at the corner of Knapp Street and Schaick roads.

Exhibits are ready to be filled in this expanded part of Hangar C ...

... which now features indoor restrooms.

I hope you enjoy the improvements, and we'll see you at Oshkosh in a few short days!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Counting down the days

Greetings from sunny (and warm) OSH! The sun is back out after a few days of sprinkles (and a shower here and there), and work continues on upgrades to the AirVenture grounds that you all will enjoy. Thanks for your patience with the latest update. Understandably, we are hard at work readying the AirVenture grounds for your arrival shortly.

Hard to believe in just a few short days we will welcome the first campers into Camp Scholler for 2010. Crews are currently putting the finishing touches on some landscaping in advance of this Friday's opening. We're ready for the early birds!

Campers will now be able to plug in toasters or turn the faucet on if they so incline as the campsites with electrical and water hookups are complete. We've added electric and water to about 250 sites, which run 25x50 feet, and remember they are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Look for more of these upgraded sites to be added in the future, however we will still preserve areas for traditional campers who opt to "rough it" a little bit more.

Another highlight of our work this season is the expansion of the warbirds area and creation of Scotts Warbirds Alley. Our week-long "Salute to Veterans" is going to be a big one filled with numerous festivities, and this area is going to be a prime location to see warbirds from all eras on display for you to enjoy.

The area is shaping up as the 300x100-foot concrete presentation pad for "Warbirds in Review" is set (as you can see in Bonnie Kratz's photo below). Seeding has recently completed and sod is being laid around the pad and veterans tribute monument.

Speaking of the monument, this will be a sight to behold. Work on this permanent tribute is ongoing, but I don't want to give you too many details. I want you to experience it first-hand. This monument will be an everlasting reminder of the brave men and women who put their lives on the line serving our great country.

The Hangar C expansion recently was the benefit of a significant gift. The Kohler Corporation has generous donated fixtures for the newly installed restroom. This is just another example of the support EAA receives from regional corporations, and we truly thank Kohler for their commitment to making AirVenture enjoyable for all attendees. Additionally, we will be painting the interior steel in Hangar C later this week. You can see exterior of the expansion completed on the right side:

We are progressing with work on the new North 40 shower building that will be completed in time for opening day. Campers will enjoy this new benefit as now they don't have to trek down to the current transient shower to get refreshed.

As some of these other projects wind down, we'll turn our attention to finishing some recently started projects.

Speaking of the North 40, work on the new bike path from the North 40 to the Main Gate began two weeks ago and will be completed in time for AirVenture. This will now give bikers easy access to points between the North 40 and Camp Scholler.

As you can see below, we started the Vicki Cruse Educational Pavilion addition to the south side of the IAC building last week that will help support the aerobatic group's forums. The frame structure and roof are already in place, and this week we are installing the electrical and audio components. Once that's complete, we're then ready to paint and be all set to go.

You can expect it to be less dusty near the internal exhibits and around Paul's Woods that support bus routes thanks to the chip-sealing done on a few of the roads in those areas. This will reduce (but not completely eliminate) some of the dust that can whip up from time to time.

And last, but certainly not least (especially for those looking to stay "online" at AirVenture), we continue to upgrade and expand Wi-Fi coverage as we will now feature 45 Wi-Fi "hot spots" on the grounds. You'll be able to access the Internet or check e-mail whether you're in the North 40, along the flight line, in Camp Scholler, the Ultralight area ... and virtually all points in between. A map of the Wi-Fi locations as well as signs indicating hot spots will be released in the coming weeks.

Time to get back to work out on the grounds. We've got to install new seats and put a fresh coat of paint on the trams. Only a little over a month away remains before AirVenture's opening day. Can you feel the excitement?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Springing into a lot of action

Even though it's been a few months since I last blogged, that doesn't mean we don't have any site updates to report. With the sun finally shining and the skies clearing (after a very moist April), we've made significant progress on several projects that will enhance everyone's AirVenture experience. Thanks for your patience, and without further ado here are the updates you've been waiting for!

Thanks to our partnership with ScottsMiracleGro, you're going to see many redesigned improvements to the vastly popular Warbirds area with the goal of creating an even better atmosphere. New this year is the Scotts Grass Strip, which will surround a newly expanded area for Warbirds aircraft and presentations. A 300x100-foot concrete pad, allowing for more hard surface parking and taking some pressure off AeroShell Square for warbird aircraft, is over halfway to completion. An addition to the Warbirds building will be completed next week, and will support additional sales opportunities and enhance the registration process. Details of the permanent Veterans Tribute area are currently being wrapped up and, once finalized, it will take about three weeks to construct. With spring in full bloom, landscaping throughout the Warbirds area will begin in the next two weeks.

As you can see in the photos below, all the structural steel for the Hangar C expansion is erected and in place. Next up is putting on the skin, which should be finished by the middle of next week. With the exterior of Hangar C just about completed, we can turn our focus to the interior. The air handlers have arrived and we will soon be working on the interior air system. Construction of the restrooms in Hangar C is also progressing nicely as we will begin work on the plumbing in the next two weeks.

One of the more anticipated amenity improvements to the site is the installation of electrical hookups to some Camp Scholler campsites. I am happy to report that the hookups are up and running in about 250 sites, in plenty of time for the campground's traditional opening day on June 25. All that's left to do between now and then is finish up some minor landscaping on these sites, which are 25 feet wide and 50 feet deep.

These campsites, outlined in the red area below, will only be offered upon arrival and based on a stay through the end of the fly-in, with no refund for unused days. Those who have already purchased camping credentials can upgrade to the improved sites, priced at $42/day, if any are available simply by paying the price difference when they arrive.

We started work this week on the new North 40 shower, beginning with the underground plumbing. After that is completed, we will be pouring concrete in about two weeks. The modular building is currently being constructed and will arrive during the second week of June. From there, we anticipate it should take three weeks to install and be ready to go by early July.

And finally, in the upcoming weeks, we will begin work on putting in a new bike path that will connect the North 40 to the Main Gate area and the existing bike path. This will allow attendees to gain access to various points from the path, including Camp Scholler. This quick project should be completed by the end of June.

We are just a little more than two months away from AirVenture 2010. There is plenty to do before then, but we are confident it will all come together. Check back for more updates and photos soon (we promise)!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Wheels Keep Turning

Every time we get teased with a couple of warmer days at this time of year, winter reminds us it’s not done yet. It’s nothing that compares to the big snows that hit the East Coast earlier this month, but it’s just enough to move most work inside.

One of the projects that we’re doing indoors is the construction of four new tram trailers to expand and upgrade the AirVenture fleet. These tram units will be larger, carrying up to 40 people. It also means we can begin to replace some of the older units that have served us for many years.

Another indoor project that is under way is the replacement of shelving in the Wearhouse and Sky Shoppe buildings. This is where being a good scavenger comes in handy. EAA has some area members who keep us informed when a building might be torn down or completely remodeled. Many times, old fittings that would be thrown out can be reused in some of our buildings. The shelves came from a couple of those projects, allowing EAA to upgrade the facilities at little or no cost.

While these indoor projects are important, it’s just as vital to be planning for what will happen once the snow melts. One area that will change this year is the site of the old FAA control tower. There is still a lot of old pavement and assorted debris just under the ground surface there. This spring we’ll have the opportunity to redesign that area. We’ll re-route a couple of roads in that area, bury the now-overhead power lines, and move the food area so everything works a little more efficiently.

We’re also signing the contracts to redesign part of the warbirds area. That redesign will allow more hard surface parking and take some of the pressure off AeroShell Square for warbird aircraft, as well as create a better atmosphere for the Warbirds in Review programs, which have really grown in popularity. Some of the warbirds building and stands will also be moved or get a facelift. I hope to have a complete map to show you the details very soon.

The planning on some of the other projects I mentioned last time is also continuing. That includes the electric hookups in Camp Scholler, the new North 40 shower building, the chip-sealing of dirt roads, and Exhibit Hangar C expansion. Several of those projects will get underway as the snow melts and the ground thaws, while the Hangar C expansion will start right after the annual Wisconsin Public Service Farm Show in early April.

Now that we’re on the downhill side of winter, you’ll be hearing from us a little more as the projects take shape. We’ll share photos and other items in the updates as well, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pathways to progress

It’s snow covered and cold on the AirVenture grounds, as you would expect in January. But there is plenty going on as we work on the 2010 enhancements to the fly-in site.

Before the ground froze in late November, we finished putting in the electrical work for a nearly 275 campsites in Camp Scholler that will have electric and water hookups in 2010. That is in the same area as the 24-hour generator area was in 2009. It was important for us to maintain the traditional feel of places such as Paul’s Park and the 101 Woods within Camp Scholler while creating areas with upgraded services for those who might want them. All that’s left on the construction side is creating a new well for the sites with hookups.

The exact process of how these sites will be made available is still being determined, so that news should be coming real soon.

Another addition this year is a bike path between the North 40 and the Main Gate area. We’ve had a number of requests for designated pathways for those who would prefer to ride bikes between their campsite and the gate. The bike path will be next to what’s known as Foundation Road in the AirVenture traffic loop, so we don’t create bike/pedestrian conflicts inside the gate. There will also be light towers along the way that will help for that bike path and the parking lots in that area, especially after Theater in the Woods programs or movies at the Fly-In Theater.

Once the snow departs, we’ll be chip sealing a number of roads in the exhibit areas. The chip sealing will lessen the dust on those roadways, but it’s not as expensive as full asphalt, which was really a shock when we saw that estimate. I’ve included a map here that shows the roads to receive the chip seal, as well as where the expansion on Exhibit Hangar C will take place (including restrooms), and extension of some roads within the exhibit area.

Along with all this, we’ve been finalizing plans and getting bids on a variety of projects that will come along in spring. We work with a lot of great contractors in the area who take a lot of pride in the finished product that you’ll see when you get to Oshkosh.

Right now, with the snow and cold, it’s tough to think of how quickly we’ll be on the doorstep of another AirVenture. But it’s less than 200 days away!