• Aviatex 2017 was the last time WOI featured a dedicated GA precinct. (Steve Hitchen)
    Aviatex 2017 was the last time WOI featured a dedicated GA precinct. (Steve Hitchen)

Wings over Illawarra (WOI) 2020 will feature a dedicated general aviation precinct, organisers Bright Events announced late last week.

The announcement marks the return to WOI of a heavy GA involvement last seen at the event in 2017, when the Aviatex exhibition was staged on the far side of the airport.

"In 2020 Wings Over Illawarra will incorporate a general aviation precinct featuring static aircraft displays and flying schools along with industry exhibitor sites for aviation suppliers, manufacturers and service providers," Bright Events said in the announcement.

"The introduction of the GA precinct will provide the aviation community with a general and recreational aviation industry event alongside Australia’s premier annual air show, while showcasing grass roots aviation to one of the largest air show crowds in Australia.

"It will offer the general public an opportunity to interact with the general aviation industry, view products, ask questions and see up close the affordable side of aviation, and of course inspire new members to the join the industry.

"Aircraft displays will range from microlights and gyrocopters to the latest in composite sport and recreational aircraft plus of course the classics and a few of the more unusual aircraft types."

In order to encourage GA participation, exhibitor sites within the GA precinct are being offered free of charge, under-wing camping will be permitted for the first time and the Temporary Restricted Area (TRA) will be lifted at 4.00 pm to reduce last light issues for pilots wanting to fly home after the display.

WOI has concentrated largely on military, warbird and aerobatics over the past three years, with some display involvement from GA groups such as AOPA, Foxbat Australia and Global Aviation Products.

Aviatex was spun off in 2018 as a stand-alone event scheduled for Bankstown Airport, but was canceled before the date due to a lack of industry support.

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