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Wittman Airport Project Causes North 40 Changes for AirVenture 2016
April 27, 2016 – A taxiway reconstruction project at Wittman Regional Airport is creating some challenges for EAA AirVenture 2016, but EAA volunteers and staff are working together to make sure that those who want to camp next to their airplanes during the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” will be able to do so.
The project reconstructs Taxiway Bravo just north of Wittman’s Runway 9/27, which is surrounded by the North 40 aircraft camping area. The project at the Winnebago County-owned airport will straighten and lengthen the taxiway. However, the necessary reconstruction of the taxiway and connected construction area will eliminate some North 40 parking (up to 130 camping slots) for 2016.
The areas affected include the west end of North 40 aircraft camping just north of Runway 9/27, as well as the area between the Hilton Garden Inn and EAA’s Weeks Hangar. Portions of those areas will be unavailable in 2016 (see photo). All North 40 parking slots south of Runway 9/27 and in the east end of North 40 parking north of that runway will still be available. In addition, storm sewer line work at the northeast end of Runway 5/23 will not be completed until early June, with hopes that the ground will be firm enough to park aircraft in that area.
To compensate for the aircraft camping areas lost this year to the project, EAA worked with Wittman Regional Airport to create a new aircraft camping area in the “South 40,” south of the ultralight landing strip (see photo). This new area will be leveled, rolled and planted with hopes – depending on weather conditions – to be ready to welcome aircraft this summer. This will be a new, permanent area to accommodate growth of the event and to offset any development on the airport’s north side, in accordance with its master plan.
Additional amenities, including showers, food services, toilet facilities, and transportation, will be greatly enhanced to this area to provide a high-level of service to those who camp in that area. As the North 40 fills, its volunteers will shift to the new area to provide support for arriving aircraft. The “GAC” aircraft signs used by those landing at Oshkosh will be effective for both areas, as aircraft will be directed to the south area after the North 40 fills.
“The airport’s project will cause some changes for the North 40 this year, but our goal is to make these temporary situations as seamless as possible,” said Jack Pelton, EAA CEO/chairman. “Our volunteers have been great in helping us plan this transition and they are committed to make things as smooth as possible from their end. We wanted to get the word out as soon as possible to let people know of these changes and how they will have a one-year effect on the traditional North 40 plan.”