AirVenture 2021: Like Starting From Scratch

By Scott Spangler on May 17th, 2021

Covid’s disruption of uninterrupted participation at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2020 was (we hope) a one-time disappointment. Like any break in a desired routine, resuming the activity is often like starting again from scratch. Whether you are flying in or driving, don’t rely on the mental muscle memory developed over a decade or more of previous Oshkosh adventures. Prepare now for the new AirVenture routines. Don’t be that person who hinders the efficient flow of traffic because they arrived oblivious to the changes.

If you are flying in, get the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 NOTAM now! The link gets you the 32-page PDF for free! Read it. Highlight the changes. Read it again as part of your preflight briefing before launching for Oshkosh in July because things have changed, starting with the NOTAM’s effective dates. This year it becomes effective at 1200 Central Daylight Time on July 22, 2021 and expires at 2000 Central Daylight Time on August 1, 2021.

On the plus side, the taxiway that becomes Runway 18L/36R during the show is now 60-feet wide. On the negative side (especially if you still rely on solely VOR navigation), the FAA has decommissioned Falls VOR/DME (FAH) at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Kankakee (Illinois) VOR/DME (IKK). On the just different side, the FAA has added a number of transitions to the Fisk Arrival. When the controllers use them to ease holding and congestion, they will announce them on the Oshkosh Arrival ATIS. Don’t be surprised by them; read about each of them in the NOTAM, each with a Not for Navigation Chart.

Those of us driving to Wittman Regional Airport need to be just as diligent in our preparation because EAA has changed the incoming traffic flows for exhibitors and civilians. And just to make things interesting, they have changed up the parking lots. To expedite parking, EAA is also selling advance auto parking online at $10 a day (or member-only for $60 a week). Paying for parking at the gate will cost you $15 a day in hard cold cash. Volunteers will be on duty at 0600, and they WILL NOT ACCEPT CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS FOR PARKING.

You can get into all the public lots (Brown, Gray, Yellow, and Pink) from Poberezny Road, and EAA recommends exiting Interstate 41 at Highway 26 (Exit 113) south of the airport. The Gray lot is new; it fills the space south of the Media Check-in Quonset Hut on Waukau Ave., The Blue lot is now designated the D Lot and reserved for public vehicles with state-issued disabled/handicapped license plates or hang tags. Entering from Knapp St., which runs along the North 40 fence line, exhibitors will now park in the G Lot, which fills the fields between road and fence line that is the western border of homebuilt camping and eastern shoreline of Lake Louise by the Memorial Chapel.

To reduce conflicts with pedestrians, EAA has eliminated the parking lots that require specific permits to use, such as the media parking lot where I usually start my day at AirVenture. I haven’t found or heard or seen anything that gives me a hint where I’ll need to go, so I guess I’ll learn that when I pick up my credentials on Zero Day (Sunday, July 25). I hope to see you there.

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