Jerry Orr

Julie Rose

If you're having trouble keeping up with the status of the Charlotte airport, you're not alone.  Yet another airport bill now making its way through the state legislature in the final hours of the regular session, which is supposed to end at midnight tonight.

Julie Rose

One man stands at the center of this swirling controversy over Charlotte's airport. In 25 years, Jerry Orr has built a reputation as one of the nation's best airport directors.

But he also has a reputation for being gruff and abrasive and his clashes with city leaders helped fuel the airport power struggle that has thrust Orr's job into limbo. Love him or hate him, Orr's name is synonymous with Charlotte Douglas International Airport. 

Julie Rose

  US Airways called it "disappointing." House Speaker Thom Tillis called it "incredibly irresponsible" and "unwise."  But Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee says his decision to install a new director of the Charlotte Airport was "simply business." 


Long-time CLT Director Orr Is Out At Airport

Jul 19, 2013
Julie Rose / WFAE News

Only hours after state lawmakers voted to strip the City of Charlotte of the airport on Thursday afternoon, long-time aviation director, Jerry Orr, lost his control, too.

In the last 25 years, Orr’s name has become synonymous with the success of Charlotte airport. But, last night, City Manager Ron Carlee released a statement saying  he’d accepted Orr’s resignation.

Orr's attorney says he was fired. 


Charlotte Loses Its Airport - Nearly

Jul 19, 2013
Julie Rose

The city of Charlotte has lost control of its airport – or nearly so. The North Carolina General Assembly passed a measure Thursday officially transferring Charlotte Douglas International into the hands of a regional authority – immediately. 

But just as quickly, the city sued to stop it and was granted a temporary restraining order.

After six months of rancor and a flurry of last minute attempts at compromise, the final legislative vote was kind of anticlimactic: it happened in less than a minute with no discussion or debate.

Jerry Orr is out as aviation director of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Whether he was fired or resigned depends on who you talk to.

Orr’s attorney says he was fired.

City Manager Ron Carlee says Orr resigned yesterday in a letter following final passage of legislation that transfers control of the airport from the city to a regional authority.

The legislation names Orr executive director of the Airport Authority, effective immediately. So Orr informed Carlee that his employment with the city was over.

  At first blush, there’s a lot about the power struggle over Charlotte’s airport that makes no sense. After all, both sides in the debate agree the airport has done extraordinarily well under the city’s control. So what’s happened?

A mysterious death, for one.

And WFAE has reviewed internal airport documents that cast doubt over much of what we thought we knew about that incident.


Airport Recycling Begins Pay Off

May 3, 2013
Julie Rose

The Charlotte airport made $185,000 recycling trash from travelers and fast food restaurants in the terminal during the last six months. 

That's a fraction of the nearly $2 million it cost to set up the new onsite recycling facility, but Aviation Director Jerry Orr expects the program to break even within five years. He adds that sorting and selling recyclable paper, plastic and aluminum isn't the only financial perk of the program.

Julie Rose

The Charlotte Airport's volunteer advisory committee has turned a new leaf. Their monthly meeting on Thursday featured far more discussion and direct questioning of Aviation Director Jerry Orr.

Orr Breaks His Silence On Airport Authority

Apr 29, 2013
Julie Rose

  Charlotte Aviation Director Jerry Orr has broken his months-long silence on the subject of creating a regional authority to oversee the airport. 


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