National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

For one week each summer, Oshkosh, Wisconsin turns into a mecca for aviation enthusiasts as more than 600,000 people and some 10,000 airplanes come to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s “AirVenture,” dubbed “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”

For a quarter century, NOAA’s National Weather Service has been participating in AirVenture as part of the International Federal Partnership, a group of Federal government agencies and international counterparts that all have an interest in engaging with aviators and aviation enthusiasts. AirVenture, or simply “Oshkosh” is among NWS’ largest outreach event, offering pilots and the public a glimpse into NWS products and services.

This year -- for the first time -- NWS representatives from the Aviation Weather Center, NWS headquarters, Central Region, local Weather Forecast Offices and Center Weather Service Units converged on this usually quiet midwestern town to provide FAA Air Traffic Control Offices and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Command Post with on-site Impact-based Decision Support Services. The NWS Weather Forecast Office in Green Bay (GRB) also provided Enhanced Terminal Aviation Forecast (E-TAF) webinar service for government partners before, during, and after the EAA event, and AWC collaborated with GRB and the Chicago Center Weather Service Unit to create a product that assisted FAA Oshkosh staff in making safety decisions for airshow attendees, participants, and staff.

EAA AirVenture: NWS Keeps Aviators, Public Safe From Weather Impacts
Photo credit: USDA

NWS was not alone at Oshkosh; the NOAA Office of Marine and Aircraft Operations brought its Gulfstream IV Hurricane Hunter aircraft “Gonzo” to the event where it was prominently displayed in Boeing Plaza and drew extensive crowds. The NOAA Sea Turtles Fly Too program also provided a display and was integrated into the NOAA display at the International Federal Pavilion.