August 8, 2013 - During last weekend's National Governors Association joint committee meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker urged Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Saturday to look into lifting the $447,000 fee assessed by the FAA for air traffic control services at AirVenture this year, according to a report in wispolitics.com.
Walker emphasized AirVenture's annual $110 million economic impact, 10,000 aircraft and attendance of 500,000. Foxx did not provide an answer, but Walker told reporters later he intends to follow up on the issue. "That for them is obviously a big concern," Walker said of the EAA.
EAA agreed to pay the fee under protest, but in early July announced it had petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to review the FAA's action and provide relief on grounds the ATC fees placed on AirVenture are unauthorized and unjustified.
EAA is asking the court to reverse the FAA's decision to seek these payments, as well as the return of fees already paid and other costs incurred.
"We appreciate that Governor Walker has joined with the bipartisan group of federal lawmakers who have expressed dismay and concern about the FAA fees for air traffic control," said Sean Elliott, EAA's vice president of advocacy and safety. "It is important to keep this issue as an important priority, not only for aviation and EAA, but as it relates to one of Wisconsin's crown jewels of tourism."