The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) filed a petition last week asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to stop the FAA from charging $447,924 for “air traffic control and safety services” at the upcoming EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis. (July 29-August 4).
Pointing out that FAA expenses are covered by fuel taxes, the EAA noted in the petition that, “The FAA’s determination to augment the funding mechanism established by Congress through user fees was adopted without standard notice and comment or any other form of formal administrative rulemaking.” The EAA signed the agreement to pay the $447,924 under protest.
The money breaks down to $340,104 for travel, $90,000 for overtime and $17,820 for supplies. According to the EAA, 87 FAA personnel are required at AirVenture, so each FAA employee will cost EAA about $3,500 for travel (and presumably lodging, food and transportation) at the show. If roundtrip travel averages $500, then each FAA staffer will cost about $430 per day. Hotels are available for about $250 per night, leaving $180 for local transportation and food.
Generally, AirVenture controllers are tapped from the FAA’s central region.