State lawmakers say talks with the City of Charlotte have run their course and it's time to move forward with a measure to transition the Charlotte Airport to a regional authority.
"Charlotte wants the discussion to be 'Will there be an authority?'" says Matthews Representative William Brawley, the bill's house sponsor. "From the point of view of the legislature, that discussion has been made and the decision needs to be, 'How will the authority be constructed? How will the transition take place? And what will Charlotte's role be?'"
After the airport authority bill cleared the State Senate, Brawley put it on hold to allow for talks with the City of Charlotte. A consultant hired by the city to study the issue concluded that a “properly-structured airport authority” is the best way to ensure the airport’s future success. Brawley says some of the consultant's recommendations will be included in a new version of the bill he will unveil in the House Transportation Committee next Tuesday.
Charlotte city leaders are urging the General Assembly to postpone the effort at least a year to allow for more study. But Brawley says legislators are intent on passing the measure now in order to preserve the airport's financial success and prevent the city from attempting to siphon off airport money.