As an EAA
member who has attended AirVenture Oshkosh, Dave Klages knows how
educational, inspirational, and just plane fun—pun intended—the
annual fly-in convention is.
architect and master planner also knows firsthand some of the
frustrations of how the convention grounds are laid out; however, those
frustrations are about to come to an end.
has been instrumental in a site development plan for the AirVenture
grounds, and for his work he will receive the President’s Award
Tuesday in a presentation at the Theater in the Woods.
"EAA is recognizing
Dave for his outstanding work on the EAA site redesign project,"
said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "This project will provide for
the event’s long-term viability and its future in Oshkosh."
of Corona del Mar, California, said he was excited to receive the award.
"To take my talents and participate in something I think is
worthwhile is thrilling."
graduating from the University of Southern California, Klages worked for
Los Angeles area architects until opening his own office in 1969. In
2000, after 31 years of running his own business, he merged with RNL and
is now semi-retired. Klages is internationally respected for his talents
in planning, design, and concept development of resorts and hotels as
well as large-scale residential, commercial, and entertainment
developments such as the Kuala Lumpur City Centre master plan and the
MGM Grand Cascata Golf Clubhouse.
said the AirVenture grounds site plan addresses the many audiences who
come to Oshkosh for the fly-in convention. The first priority is to make
it easier to get around the grounds.
now you have to zigzag to get to any of the major venues, such as
warbirds, homebuilts, or vintage," he said. "We started taking
a site plan, doodling with ideas, and came up with the fact that if we
moved show center slightly to the west where the existing gate is, we
could draw lines that would get you directly to each of the
someone coming in the gate, that means they could walk directly at 45
degrees to go to Warbirds and save one-fourth to one-half of a mile by
walking in a straight line.
In fact, that’s what
most excites Klages about the site plan. "It’s going to make it
more user-friendly and not so overwhelming."
also calls for more air-conditioned exhibit space, better dining
facilities, improved campground facilities, better signage, and more.
always wants to live on the lakefront. The idea is to create more ‘lakefront’
property that is easier to find and give more reasons for people to
visit those areas," Klages said.
who has logged about 2,800 hours and is an instrument-rated commercial
pilot, has also built two airplanes—an RV-8 finished in 2001 and a
Piper Cub PA-11 finished earlier this year.
learned many of the things he needed to know to build his own airplanes
and looking at the various flying contraptions is what makes AirVenture
so much fun," he said. "I think the site plan keeps the
culture of EAA and allows it to grow and make it an easier place to get