The usual holiday bustle is picking up at Charlotte Douglas, but behind the scenes a power struggle between city and state lawmakers continues. A commission created by the state to run the airport meets for the second time tonight. It can’t do much yet, except self-destruct.
A judge has kept Charlotte Douglas in the hands of the city council and away from the commission, while a lawsuit makes its way through court.
But commissioners could choose to keep or fire their executive director, Jerry Orr. who ran CLT for almost 25 years. When the state appointed Orr to head the airport commission, the city ousted him as aviation director. He is receiving his $211,000 salary while things are tied up in court.
The commission could also decide to fire its attorneys, who are representing it against the city.
Those acts could be attractive to the majority of commissioners, who were appointed by the mayor and city council. State lawmakers created the commission, who appointed Orr, who found the lawyers.
All sides have pledged to pursue the airport’s best interest.