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UPDATE: EAA, FAA reach settlement over AirVenture fees

UPDATED Friday, March 21, 2014 --- 4:35 p.m.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) -- The Experimental Aircraft Association has reached an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration over air traffic control fees during its annual convention.

The EAA says the nine-year agreement will provide air traffic control services on a consistent basis through 2022 for AirVenture.

Last year, the FAA told EAA officials that the cost for 87 air traffic controller and supervisors to come to Oshkosh for AirVenture would be nearly $448,000. The EAA signed a one-year agreement under protest and asked a federal appeals court to review the payments.

EAA board Chairman Jack Pelton says the organization's goal was to bring stability to AirVenture.

U.S. Rep. Tom Petri say he still questions the FAA's authority to charge for air show costs, but says the settlement provides certainty that AirVenture will continue.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, August 5, 2013 --- 7:42 a.m.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) -- The chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association says the organization met several goals with this year's AirVenture.

The annual fly-in and convention wrapped up Sunday. Chairman Jack Pelton says one of the top goals was to have a safe event -- and that occurred. Pelton says another objective was to actually have an air show in light of the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control fee. The EAA paid the $447,000 fee to the FAA, but has petitioned for a refund in federal court.

Pelton says improvements to the grounds, additional restroom facilities and more diverse food items with better pricing was a goal aimed at proving a better experience for attendees.

A record 821 exhibitors attended this year's air show held July 29 to Aug. 4.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, July 5, 2013 --- 8:35 a.m.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) -- The Experimental Aircraft Association is asking a federal appeals court to review payments to the Federal Aviation Administration for air traffic control services during its annual convention.

EAA filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago on Wednesday.

In May, the FAA told EAA officials the cost for 87 air traffic controllers and supervisors to come to Oshkosh for AirVenture would be $447,000.

Last month, AirVenture made a partial payment with the remaining sum to be paid after the FAA completes its duties at the convention.

EAA is asking the appeals court to reverse the FAA's decision to demand the payment and return the money already paid.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said in an email Friday he couldn't comment on pending legal actions.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, June 14, 2013 --- 8:32 a.m.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) -- The Experimental Aircraft Association has agreed to pay the Federal Aviation Administration $450,000 for air traffic control services during the upcoming AirVenture fly-in -- but under protest.

EAA Chairman Jack Pelton says the FAA held his organization hostage by demanding the fee or causing it to cancel the popular air show. Pelton says EAA agreed to pay the money because there was no other realistic choice to preserve aviation's largest annual gathering.

The FAA said it would bill the EAA for 87 air traffic controllers in order to meet mandatory federal budget cuts.

Oshkosh Northwestern Media reports Pelton says AirVenture is a pawn in the larger sequestration political standoff.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Wednesday, June 5, 2013 --- 10:41 a.m.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) -- Experimental Aircraft Association officials are objecting to a $500,000 bill for air traffic control for the association's annual convention in Wisconsin.

The AirVenture convention draws tens of thousands of pilots and aviation enthusiasts to Oshkosh each summer.

The Federal Aviation Administration usually has its controllers staff the tower at Wittman Regional Airport during the show. The influx of planes makes the air traffic control tower the busiest in the world during the duration of the show.

EAA Chairman Jack Pelton tells Oshkosh Northwestern Media that this year, the FAA has demanded $500,000 from the EAA to cover air traffic costs or it won't staff the event. Pelton says EAA can pay the fee but he worries that other air shows hit with similar demands won't be able to.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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