OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wittman Regional Control Tower will oversee more than three thousand operations in a 14-hour period becoming, virtually overnight, one of the nation’s busiest airports.
Tim Fitzgerald is the EAA Air Traffic Manager and it is his job to make sure all planes land safely.
When Fitzgerald isn’t volunteering at EAA, his other job is Air Traffic Controller at O’Hare, so he knows something about busy control towers. O’Hare typically handles 2,300 flights in a 24-hour period.
With some simple math, it is clear to see that Wittman Regional Airport will have the distinction, if only for a few days, of being the busiest control tower in the world.
“Normally yesterday and today we would have four mass arrivals yesterday with a 135 bonanzas, 94 Cessnas, and a couple of other groups. Most of those got cancelled yesterday because of the weather. So now we back them up into today. Well a large number of general aviation craft are trying to come in today as well. So once the grass opens us and we’re able to accept all arrivals,” Fitzgerald said.
Due to heavy rains, the grounds have been saturated. Much of the operations for the week take place on the grass, so flights have been delayed until ground conditions improve.