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Road Trip: Oshkosh alternatives

You don’t have to fly into Wittman to go to AirVenture

Road Trip

Almost every pilot wants to fly into EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the world’s largest gathering of aviation enthusiasts and general aviation aircraft. The Experimental Aircraft Association puts on the event every July at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and it’s popular—attracting around 10,000 aircraft.

That’s a lot of air traffic. But fear not. If you’re a new pilot—or any pilot—you can fly to AirVenture without landing at Oshkosh. There are two great airports nearby that, while busy at times, see far fewer aircraft operations. Fond du Lac County Airport in Fond du Lac is 13 nautical miles south-southeast of Oshkosh and Appleton International Airport in Appleton, Wisconsin, is 16 nm north.

Both offer AirVenture visitors parking (note, you may be directed onto grass); frequent shuttle buses to Oshkosh and camping on the field are available—just hop the bus to AirVenture each morning. Because of high demand, rental cars should be reserved in advance, and may be expensive.

At Fond du Lac, if you want to park on a hard surface, contact FBO Fond du Lac Skyport in advance and make a reservation—otherwise you’ll park in the grass. Appleton’s FBO, Platinum Flight Services, does not take reservations during AirVenture. Plan to park in the grass, almost everybody does. Note that tiedowns are required at both airports; if you don’t have or didn’t bring any, sets will be available to buy for about $20.

Camping fees at each airport are modest, and round-trip bus rides to AirVenture cost around $30 per day (bring cash!).

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Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins, AOPA technical editor and director of business development, died from COVID-19 at age 59 on February 25, 2021. He was an integral part of the AOPA Media team for nearly 30 years, and held many key editorial roles at AOPA Pilot, Flight Training, and AOPA Online. He was a gifted writer, editor, photographer, audio storyteller, and videographer, and was an instrument-rated pilot and drone pilot.

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