On Friday, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) agreed “under protest” to FAA demands for a $447,000 fee for ATC services at its AirVenture airshow and fly-in, which begins July 29. The week-long AirVenture is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., attracting more than 10,000 aircraft and up to 600,000 attendees.
Under terms of the one-time agreement, the EAA can make the payments in installments. The FAA initially had demanded immediate and full payment of $479,000 last month for its ballooning staff of 87 controllers and supervisors assigned to AirVenture, a demand EAA initially resisted.
“We have consistently regarded the FAA’s move as holding AirVenture hostage,” EAA chairman Jack Pelton said. “This isn’t over. We look forward to FAA’s leadership coming to Oshkosh this year to personally explain its policy to the nation’s aviators.” The FAA has imposed or is attempting to impose new fees on a variety of U.S. civil aviation events this year, citing constraints on its resources attributable to federal budget sequestration.