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Preparations underway for EAA AirVenture 2022

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Posted at 5:02 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 22:01:24-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — EAA organizers and vendors are getting ready to welcome hundreds of thousands of people to Oshkosh for the world's largest aviation show.

Crews put together displays Thursday at Boeing Plaza as planes landed for vendors to show.

"We take care of all the exhibitor aircrafts. They drop in, we'll put them in their booths the way they like to display them," said Bob Hilleary, Boeing Plaza chairman.

Hilleary is one of more than 5,000 volunteers at AirVenture. It's a position he's taken on for almost 30 years.

"We do this just for the love of aviation, the homebuilds, EAA, getting people excited, trying to get the flame started in young kids," Hilleary said.

Planning for the event happens year round.

"Thousands of campers are coming in. Airplanes are coming in. The FAA is now in control of the control tower here at Wittman Regional Airport and they're running the show," said Dick Knapinski, EAA director of communications. "All of that goes together in a big piece of things that have to match up."

Knapinski said safety and security are important pieces of that puzzle.

"We work with local and state and federal agencies, such as the FBI and Homeland Security, to make sure we have the best practices there."

Security measures include concrete barriers, bag checks and designated pedestrian crossings.

"There will be some security that you see here throughout the entire day, but a lot of it that you won't," Knapinski said.

The Oshkosh Police Department is assisting in security and traffic control.

"We work extensively with staff at EAA to provide the best type of routes to where we can stage traffic in the city to move them into different parking lots, as well as how we can best provide pedestrian safety in the area," said Sgt. Chris Gorte, Oshkosh Police Department special operations.

Gorte highly suggests people plan their route before heading out to EAA this year.

AirVenture officially takes off Monday morning.