Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the “world’s busiest airport.” But for one week out of 52, that title goes to Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, home of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) annual AirVenture Fly-in. The event draws more than 500,000 participants from around the world to a city many people associate, at least by name, with children’s clothing. And that’s the beauty of Wisconsin’s deep manufacturing heritage. The same highly skilled workers that built the state’s reputation for producing everything from food and clothing, to toilets and battleships, are also employed in aerospace and aviation.
That industry will get a big boost if a coalition of leaders from aerospace companies, associations and state educational institutions have their way. The group is calling for development of a Center of Excellence for Integrated Aerospace and Defense technologies to support and advance the sector — one that has created more than 24,000 jobs statewide up and down the aerospace supply chain.