The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and FAA signed a nine-year deal late last week for the agency to provide ATC services at the EAA’s annual AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wis.
Under the deal, the EAA will reimburse the FAA for all related expenses and overtime and drop its federal lawsuit challenging the FAA’s authority to impose those charges. They amounted to $447,000 when levied for the first time and at short notice last year, sparking an angry reaction from the EAA and other general aviation groups. The FAA traditionally provided ATC at AirVenture without charge but changed its policy last year, citing federal budget constraints under sequestration.
EAA chairman Jack Pelton said the agreement removes uncertainty regarding ATC services for the airshow and is the best available option in the face of protracted litigation and lack of congressional support for the introduction of targeted legislation that would have prevented the FAA from imposing such charges. The deal also gives the EAA the option of finding an alternative ATC vendor.