The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 27, 2013

Wisconsin air show leads fight against federal fees

By M.L. Johnson
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — One of the nation's largest air shows begins Monday in Wisconsin. And for the first time, the federal government is charging it an air traffic control fee that amounts to about $45 for each plane flying in.

The fee is angering pilots, who already pay for air traffic control through a fuel tax.

The Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture draws about 10,000 planes and several hundred thousand people to Oshkosh each year.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory says the event was asked to cover air traffic costs after automatic federal budget cuts went into effect this spring.

EAA board chairman Jack Pelton says paying an unexpected $447,000 for air traffic control means less money will be left for the nonprofit's aviation education programs. It is appealing the fee in federal court.