Coming on the heels of canceling last summer’s AirVenture event due to COVID-19, the Experimental Aircraft Association is making plans to hold a safe event this summer.
During the coming months, the organization said it will use a dedicated area of its website to keep people informed with the latest updates as the situation evolves. “An important phrase to remember is ‘At this time …’” an EAA press release stated. “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 United States and individual countries of residence.
- Increased physical distancing will be encouraged in all areas.
- EAA is adding significant numbers of sanitizing facilities and working with industry-leading companies for continual disinfection throughout the grounds.
- 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 repurposed 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, watch for more details on new programs for low-contact procedures for admissions, camping registration, points of entry, and other high-volume areas. To stay up to date on the latest news, visit EAA.org/COVID.