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EAA Reaches 900 Chapters!
John Egan, EAA 336835, Sr. Chapters Manager
November 2022 – We are happy to share that our EAA chapter network reached 900 active chapters and squadrons in 2022. Looking back to 1953, when EAA was first formed, followed by the first EAA chapter forming only 11 months later, the thought of reaching 900 EAA chapters could have only been a wild dream to our founders. Ask any EAA chapter leader, and they will confess that maintaining an active EAA chapter can be hard work at times. We owe so much appreciation to our chapter leaders, officers, members, and volunteers as the local EAA activity at their airports has made EAA what it is today.
Let’s talk about what EAA is today from a chapter’s perspective. EAA chapters are the local portal to aviation where aviation enthusiasts, pilots, and aviation tradespeople can participate in aviation in a social setting. When talking about volunteering, I often say, “Volunteering doesn’t come in much bigger slices than from our EAA chapter members.” Our chapter members are truly our most dedicated EAA members. It has traditionally been our EAA chapters who developed and managed much of what we experience today at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Whether it’s airplane judging at AirVenture, aircraft sweepstakes (now the raffle), food vending, and all that now happens at AirVenture, chapters have played a big role in it. We salute our EAA chapters in our EAA chapter network.
Reaching 900 has been a milestone number that we here in the chapters office have been chasing for a few years. Whether a Vintage, IAC (Aerobatic), Ultralight, Warbirds, or traditional EAA chapter, you are part of a wonderful network of EAA chapters dedicated to grow participation in aviation by promoting The Spirit of Aviation. Please share in our excitement having 900 active EAA chapters and squadrons in 2022. We encourage you as chapter leaders to continue to promote The Spirit of Aviation, and thank you so much for your participation.
But wait, my chapter number is more than “900”! Similar to the challenge to grow membership in any specific chapter, so is the case to grow the number of active chapters in our EAA chapter network. Every year EAA realizes a handful of chapters need to close due to a lack of maintaining membership, and as a result, we have many chapters whose chapter number is more than 900, even though we have had nearly 900 chapters in total. To offset the number of chapters we lose each year, new EAA chapters are being formed, resulting in our EAA chapter network count hovering at just less than 900 over the past few years. In 2022, we have already grown our chapter network by more than 25 new EAA chapters, enabling us to reach a milestone of 900 active chapters.
Thank you and congratulations to all of our EAA chapters and squadrons who continually make an effort to grow participation in aviation by promoting The Spirit of Aviation. Well done and well deserved regardless of your years as an active chapter. We hope to see you at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023, and be sure to pin a little orange windsock on the big chapters map in the Blue Barn.