Tower Closures Won’t Affect EAA AirVenture
The air traffic control tower closure in Oshkosh will NOT negatively impact AirVenture. EAA’s AirVenture is scheduled to go on as planned at the end of July, despite tower closures across the country. Federal officials announced on Friday that Wittman Regional Airport will end its tower operations April 7 because of federal budget sequestration mandates. AirVenture Spokesman Dick Knapinski explains, federal officials understand the size, scope, and importance of AirVenture. The year round operations at the tower are contracted by the Federal Aviation Administration, but FAA personnel fly in to Oshkosh operate the tower during and surrounding the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. Concerns were raised about the FAA travel budget due to sequestration cuts, but Knapinski says the week long fly-in is four months away; folks in DC should be able to figure it out by then. Plus, Knapinski says, they’re always working on a plan B, just in case. About half a million aviation enthusiasts come from all corners of the state, across the nation, and 60 countries for AirVenture, bringing an estimated $110 million economic impact to Oshkosh-area counties each year. Beyond AirVenture, talks continue with airport management and the FAA to keep Wittman tower open all year round, considering it is one of the state’s five busiest airports.