The federal government’s budget woes have affected aviation in many ways this year, but EAA President Jack Pelton says the cash crunch was no excuse for the FAA to refuse to staff the Oshkosh tower during AirVenture this summer. “We have an active lawsuit,” Pelton told AVweb during an interview at AOPA Summitthis week, in Fort Worth, Texas. “The FAA is not legally allowed to charge us for those services.” But while he continues to press that case, he said EAA is preparing to have to pay for tower staff again in 2014. The organization also is looking at other long-term solutions, such as finding their own private staff for the tower, instead of paying the expenses for FAA controllers.
Pelton also said EAA will continue working to find alternatives to the high cost of fuel. “We’ve got to get creative,” he said, to make more fuel options available at airports. For example, cheaper mogas fuels could be available in tank trucks at GA airports, instead of installing an expensive underground tank. Pelton said EAA has long been an advocate for finding cheaper alternative fuels for GA airplanes, and he expects that any work to bring the price down will translate to more pilots spending more time flying.