EAA Protests ATC Fees In Court
When the FAA sent EAA a bill of nearly $450,000 last month to cover expenses for air traffic controllers during AirVenture, the organization had little choice but to comply -- but at the time, Chairman Jack Pelton said "This isn't over," and this week, the EAA took its argument to a U.S. Court of Appeals. On Wednesday, EAA filed a petition with the Seventh Circuit court in Chicago, asking for a review of the case and relief from the payments demanded by the FAA. EAA says the fees were imposed without following standard notice and comment procedures, making the demand "improper and unlawful."
As part of its petition, EAA is asking the court to reverse the FAA's decision to seek these payments, return the fees already paid, and reimburse EAA for other costs incurred. "While we understand the FAA's position and the temptation to augment its congressional appropriation, we naturally don't agree since we believe this approach unlawfully circumvents congressional approval and standard due process," said Pelton in a statement on Wednesday. "This affects AirVenture and numerous other aviation events throughout the nation in an unauthorized and unjustified manner. That is why we are seeking review, relief, and clarification from the court." EAA has posted the full text of its petition online (PDF).