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!