FAA Has 'Concerns' About Airport Commission Bill

Jul 30, 2013

Charlotte Mayor Patsy Kinsey and city attorney Bob Hagemann briefly address the media after a closed session Monday night to discuss airport-related legal action.
Credit Julie Rose

The Federal Aviation Administration says it has "several concerns" about recently-passed legislation to place Charlotte airport operations under the control of a regional commission.

The FAA has asked North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper to clarify whether the city of Charlotte or the new commission will hold the necessary federal operating certificates under the legislation. Possible confusion over FAA permits and federal grants is one argument the city raised in its challenge of original legislation to create a Charlotte Airport Authority.

Lawmakers repealed that measure and instituted a new one last Friday hoping to address some of the city's legal arguments.

Yesterday the Charlotte City Council met in closed session for two hours discussing whether to challenge the new bill in court. Ultimately, Mayor Patsy Kinsey says they opted to hold off.

"At this point, given the complexity of the bill and the issues it addresses, we must wait for the courts to weigh in before we decide our course of action," said Kinsey in a brief statement after the council's closed meeting.

On Thursday morning, the court is scheduled to hear legal arguments in the Charlotte airport power struggle.  Those who want to see the airport run by a regional commission – including ousted aviation director Jerry Orr – have also said they'll wait until Thursday's hearing before making their next move.