OSHKOSH, Wis. -

The Experimental Aircraft Association has agreed to pay the Federal Aviation Administration $450,000 for air traffic control services during the upcoming AirVenture fly-in -- but under protest.

EAA Chairman Jack Pelton said the FAA held his organization hostage by demanding the fee or causing it to cancel the popular air show. Pelton said EAA agreed to pay the money because there was no other realistic choice to preserve aviation's largest annual gathering.

The FAA said it would bill the EAA for 87 air traffic controllers in order to meet mandatory federal budget cuts.

Oshkosh Northwestern Media reported Pelton says AirVenture is a pawn in the larger sequestration political standoff.