Officials with AirVenture in Oshkosh will pay the FAA nearly $450,000 to ensure there are air traffic controllers on hand during the annual air show later this summer.
Because of the continued federal budget cuts under sequestration, the FAA said it would be unable to provide controllers without the Experimental Aircraft Association agreeing to cover the costs. With the show set to start on July 29th, EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski says the clock was ticking, so they agreed to sign a one time agreement.
AUDIO: Dick Knapinski (:12)
Knapinski says they still believe the FAA is “holding AirVenture and general aviation hostage” and a letter of protest was sent with the contract that indicates they signed the deal under protest.
Knapinski says they will continue to work with federal lawmakers on the issue and it’s possible some of the payment could be refunded later on.
Mike Kemmeter, WHBY