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.