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Mon, Jul 27, 2009

EAA President Tom Poberezny Says Oshkosh Is Strong

Advance Ticket Sales Up 33 Percent

By all indications, AirVenture 2009 will exceed expectations for attendance by visitors and aircraft. EAA President Tom Poberezny said on opening day that advance ticket sales were up 33 percent, the campsight has spilled over into the overflow area, the North 40 has been temporarily closed, and all expectations on attendance look like they will be exceeded by a significant margin.

"All of the numbers right now are running significantly ahead of last year and far ahead of expectations, which indicates the value of this event to the aviation community, and more importantly people are ready to get back engaged after a tough economic situation," Poberezny said in his opening day news conference.

EAA spent 3.8 million on the site this year. Poberezny said the exhibit space has been increased by 60 percent, and that vendors had responded in many cases by increasing their exhibit space, a result of those improvements, he said.

Poberezny said there are four basic factors that affect attendance at Oshkosh. "Planes, People, Passion, and Participation." While some try to compare AirVenture with some of the other major shows, each is unique, and AirVenture brings together a bigger variety of aircraft than any other show. From the Airbus A380 and Virgin Galactic Mother Ship "Eve" to an historic replica of the 1909 Wright B Flyer.

Still, the economy has had its impact. Poberezny said that while every exhibitor has felt some sting from the recession, they feel like Oshkosh is a good investment, because of the number of attendees and the focus on aviation.

FMI: www.eaa.org

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