AirVenture attendance up - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

AirVenture attendance up

OSHKOSH (WKOW) -- Attendance at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual convention in Oshkosh increased 12 percent this year.

AirVenture attracted 578,000 people from Aug. 27 through Sunday.

Last year's numbers were down due to high fuel costs and the sagging economy.

In a statement, EAA President Tom Poberezny (pob-er-EZ'-nee) says the highlights, enthusiasm and passion for aviation made AirVenture 2009 the best ever.

Next year, he expected festivities related to the 75th anniversary of the DC-3 and further developments in Virgin Galactic's space tourism efforts.

This year, the public got to see Virgin Galactic's new airplane designed to launch a spaceship with tourists into space.  Next year, the hope is that Virgin Galactic will bring the spaceship with to display.

EAA AirVenture spokesman Dick Knapinski (nuh-PIHN'-skee) said there were more than 2,600 showplanes, 750 commercial exhibitors and nearly 2,200 international visitors this year.

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