EAA, AOPA oppose FAA plan to charge for air traffic controllers at AirVenture

The cost for the Experimental Aircraft Association to put on this year’s AirVenture aviation fly-in in Oshkosh, Wis., is going up.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced plans to charge for travel costs, per diem expenses and overtime pay for the air traffic controllers who deploy to work the show.

Traditionally, the FAA has incurred the cost of deploying controllers to the show, which attracts more than 10,000 aircraft.

The new charges were announced as part of the budget sequestration.

The show runs July 29 to Aug. 4.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the EAA are denouncing the charges.

“This is extremely troubling news,” Craig Fuller, AOPA president and CEO, said in a statement. “We’ve warned that the Obama Administration wants to hit general aviation with user fees, and that’s exactly what it’s doing to the EAA and AirVenture.”

Departing from its previous practice suggests the FAA has entered into a new “pay-as-you-go era with little regard for safety,” Fuller said.

General aviation already pays for FAA services through substantial user fees, he said.

“These user fees — there is no other word for them — are a double taxation, Fuller said. And that will add a burden and hurt the industry.