Coordinating the countless moving parts of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is a challenge in the best of times, but coming back from 2020’s COVID-caused cancellation raises expectations regarding health and safety measures in planning this year’s event on July 26-August 1.
During the coming months, we’ll keep you informed with the latest information as the situation evolves in a dedicated area of our website with a highly visible logo (pictured at the bottom of this article). An important phrase to remember is “At this time… .” As the return to events begins throughout the country, plans will change in conjunction with the current state of the pandemic.
“We will be hosting AirVenture 2021, but there will be areas that will look different and areas where we’ll incorporate technology to limit touchpoints as we work with local and state health officials to establish and maintain the best possible standards for public events,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA’s CEO and Chairman. “Some areas may look different at Oshkosh this year, but the feeling will be the same as we gather to celebrate the world of flight.”
Some of the initial decisions made for this year’s event, some of which will evolve and change as the event nears, include:
- Masks will be strongly recommended if you are unable to social distance (roughly 6 feet or 2 meters).
- Proof of COVID vaccine will not be required to attend.
- International visitation is dependent on current international travel regulations and mandates in the U.S. and individual countries of residence.
- Increased physical distancing will be encouraged in all areas.
- EAA is adding significant numbers of sanitizing facilities throughout the grounds and working with industry-leading companies for continual disinfection in all areas.
- Theater in the Woods, forums pavilions, and other outdoor venues will operate with reduced seating capacity, with social distancing opportunities on the open grounds at that location.
- There will be fewer exhibitors in each indoor exhibit building, creating more walkways and separation between exhibitors. Additional venues on the grounds are being re-purposed to accommodate indoor exhibitors that are moved this year.
- Wherever possible, ventilation will be increased in tents and indoor facilities.
- Several annual events where physical distancing is not possible will not be held this year, including the Monday night concert; the Young Eagles, EAA Lifetime Member, and International Visitors dinners; the Runway 5K run/walk; and large corporate events and receptions.
- High-demand forums and presentations will be scheduled more than once to accommodate demand while allowing for distancing.
In addition, look for more details on new programs for low-contact procedures for admissions, camping registration, points of entry, and other high-volume areas.
“EAA is incorporating innovative ideas for our presentations and even the air shows to keep you safe in 2021 while keeping the fun factor high,” Pelton said. “We appreciate your understanding that these plans will evolve in the coming months. We expect changes as we gear up for Opening Day, so our goal is to bring you any new information regularly as soon as we confirm it. We also understand that the ultimate decision to join us is always yours, based on your personal situation and comfort level.”
As always, we invite your ideas and input at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you on the Oshkosh flightline this summer!