This year's attendance topped 550,000, a two percent increase over 2014! The fly-in ran from July 20-26.
AWC and NOAA presence at Oshkosh was markedly improved this year, with a fresh new look and open exhibit area, better graphics and more hands-on displays that received raves from both visitors and other members of the International Federal Partnership, or IFP, which runs AirVenture's Federal Pavilion, one of the highest attended venues at the event. Ed Holicky, a Senior Aviation Meteorologist at AWC, led the effort, bringing in specialists from AWC, the Aviation and Space Weather Services Branch at NWS headquarters, the Center Weather Service Unit in Chicago, and WFOs Green Bay and Milwaukee. AWC showcased the continued advancements being made in aviation weather forecasting, while Greg Romano from the NWS Office of Communications and others explained what becoming a Weather-Ready Nation is all about to non-aviation audiences.
A key highlight of the week was a visit by NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan. Sullivan, a private pilot, flew her plane to the event. While there, she participated in a number of events to highlight the work the NWS is doing to evolve its operations to build a Weather-Ready Nation. In addition, she spoke at a luncheon forum for more than 650 female aviation enthusiasts about pursuing their dreams in the air and in space. EAA noted that Sullivan is the very first Federal agency head to fly her own airplane to Oshkosh...and the event has been held there for 45 years!
Another big Oshkosh draw was NOAA's Beechcraft King Air 350 coastal mapping and emergency response aircraft on static display in one of the most centrally-located area of the show grounds. Parked alongside historic and world-renowned aircraft such as the iconic B-17 and B-29 World War II bombers, modern F-22 and F35 fighters, and Airbus's brand new A250 airliner, the King Air attracted thousands of visitors interested in learning more about how this aircraft -- and Unmanned Aircraft Systems showcased in the Pavilion -- support NOAA's research and operational missions.
NOAA and other federal participants outside the EAA AirVenture Federal Pavilion