House members protest FAA’s AirVenture ATC fees

A bipartisan group of 30 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, denouncing the agency’s assessment of fees on aviation events nationwide, including EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

The House letter follows a bipartisan letter from 28 U.S. senators last month that also criticized the assessments. The senators received a response from the FAA that defends its sudden demands for payments for expenses that amounted to $447,000 for this year’s fly-in at Oshkosh. Similar fees are being charged to aviation events throughout the country, putting continued operation at risk for some.

“We greatly appreciate the support of the representatives who see these FAA fees as unjustified and unauthorized, as well as a burden to American general aviation,” said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. “The agency’s response to the senators contained no surprises, as the FAA is naturally defending its unilateral move as part of the larger sequestration standoff in Washington.”

On July 3, EAA filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th District, asking the court to find that the FAA unlawfully demanded the payments. No specific date has been set by the court for further action on the petition, which has drawn support from several other general aviation organizations.

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