Former Cessna Aircraft Co. CEO Jack Pelton has reached out to Wisconsin’s U.S. senators to try to reverse Federal Aviation Administration plans to begin charging theExperimental Aircraft Association $500,000 to staff a control tower during EAA’s AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wis.But for now, it looks as though EAA will have to foot the bill.
According to a report from AVweb, Pelton, EAA’s chairman, says the organization will pay the fee if it has to in order to guarantee the show is fully staffed with air traffic controllers.
The fee is being charged as part of the FAA’s ongoing efforts to cut its budget. Pelton said recent negotiations with the FAA over the fees amounted to essentially a demand for the funds or the show would risk not having its control tower staffed.
The efforts to reverse the fee are in their early stages, but the Wisconsin senators have co-signed a letter with 27 other senators voicing opposition to the plan to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
The letter calls the fee “tantamount to an imposition of new user fees on general aviation.”