Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free trial today! Click here

Food, fuel, friendship en route to EAA AirVenture

Pilots flying from the East or West coast headed to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Wisconsin can fill up their bellies and fuel up their aircraft with discounts at friendly airports along the way.

The crowds at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, arrive from all directions. Airports, FBOs, and restaurants situated along popular routes to the show often offer fuel discounts, food, and other perks. Photo by David Tulis.


Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville: The on-field Bessie’s Diner restaurant and three runways to choose from await pilots taking a break at this southern Wisconsin Class D airport a few miles north of the Illinois border. The lone FBO, Revv Janesville, offers fuel discounts for EAA members.

Appleton International Airport in Appleton: The aroma of freshly grilled brats and burgers fills the air for pilots pit-stopping at this Class D airport just a few miles north of the AirVenture grounds to avoid the hubbub of Wittman Regional Airport. Look closely and you’ll spot new models from aircraft manufacturers dotting the ramp, and you are likely to bump into airshow performers visiting the Appleton Flight Center FBO. Ask about buying some Wisconsin cheese or packaged brats to go.


DuPage Airport in West Chicago: Pilots passing through the Chicagoland area on their way to and from AirVenture can access self-serve prices for full service by line attendants at the DuPage Flight Center ramp from July 19 to August 3. Mention the “Oshkosh Special” to get the best deal on avgas, and food discounts at the on-field café. Four runways augment the towered airfield, and airport management says there are “over 1 million square feet of ramp with tie downs” and “plenty of transient hangar space available if the weather turns.”

Joliet Regional Airport in Joliet: Operating from sunrise to sunset, pilots vising the 2,821-foot-long nontowered paved field can expect free snacks and water en route to Oshkosh.


Starke County Airport in Knox: Augmented by a taildragger-friendly grass landing strip and a paved runway, this nontowered airfield south of Lake Michigan will also provide fresh doughnuts and hot dogs to traveling pilots.

LaPorte Municipal Airport in La Porte : Discounts for fuel during AirVenture week plus 24/7 access to a shower, restroom, refrigerator, microwave, and sofas in case fatigue or weather moves in. Make plans for the monthly “Lunch on the Fly,” which falls on July 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Central time.

Porter County Regional Airport in Valparaiso: A crosswind runway; free overnight aircraft parking; shuttles to area hotels; a 15- to 20-cent-per-gallon discount on avgas; and a “Food & Fuel” fundraiser for the local EAA chapter with brats, burgers, hot dogs, chips, and fruit await pilots 15 miles from the southern tip of Lake Michigan.


Arthur N Neu Airport in Carroll: Pilots planning a stop about 300 nautical miles southwest of Oshkosh can enjoy cookies and ice cream July 16 to August 2 courtesy of Carroll Aviation.


Battle Creek Executive at Kellogg Field Airport in Battle Creek: Hear the meat and chicken sizzling for Waco Tacos at the Waco Kitchen and take advantage of additional farm-to-table offerings while enjoying “heavily discounted fuel rates” at the home of Waco Aircraft’s manufacturing facility. And while your meal is cooked, check out the observation windows for an inside look at the biplane building process.

New York

Massena International Airport-Richards Field in Massena: Landing fees are waived for AirVenture travelers purchasing fuel, and a crosswind runway offers a landing option.


Norfolk Regional Airport/Karl Stefan Memorial Field in Norfolk: Open for extended hours to accommodate travelers to the big show, with “hospitality, snacks, hotdogs, chips and drinks” provided. Dual runways 14/32 and 02/20 can accommodate a crosswind for pilots passing through the Midwest.

North Dakota

Bismarck Municipal Airport in Bismarck: The Bismarck Aero Center is welcoming “all Oshkosh aviators” with a 24-hour FBO, Wi-Fi, snacks, complimentary crew cars, “and a relaxing sleep room” for those with long flight days or a few hours of potential overnight shuteye. A “Special Oshkosh Discount” is also available, so don’t forget to ask about it.


Ralph Wenz Field in Pinedale: An avgas discount of 35 cents per gallon, maintenance service, a crew car, pilot lounge, available drinks and snacks, plus “a huge ramp” for overnight parking and camping near your airplane are additional options.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Senior Photographer
Senior Photographer David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot with single-engine land and sea ratings and a tailwheel endorsement. He is also a certificated remote pilot and co-host of the award-wining AOPA Hangar Talk podcast. David enjoys vintage aircraft ad photography.
Topics: U.S. Travel

Related Articles