Jerry Orr

Julie Rose

Charlotte Airport Advisory Committee Chairman Shawn Dorsch took 90 minutes of questions and sharp criticism from the city council Monday, but declined to answer most queries regarding his role in the controversy over control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.  

Julie Rose

  "Don't fix what's not broken," was the theme of a small public hearing held last night by the consultant hired to delve into the ongoing struggle over control of the Charlotte airport. But Aviation Director Jerry Orr didn't quite agree with the views expressed at the meeting.

Security Shift Feeds Tension Between City/Airport

Mar 17, 2013
Nicola since 1972 / Flickr

The current debate over creating a regional authority to oversee the Charlotte airport has made for frosty relations between city officials, who oppose the move,  and Aviation Director Jerry Orr, who is for it.

But internal emails show things have been tense for some time. WFAE's Julie Rose has gone through some 400 pages of emails and documents related to the city manager's decision last year to put CMPD in charge of airport security. She spoke with Morning Edition Host Duncan McFadyen:

MCFADYEN: How was security (at the airport) being handled before that decision?

Airport Authority Bill Moves Forward

Mar 12, 2013

A bill to place the Charlotte Airport under control of a regional authority surmounted a major hurdle Tuesday afternoon - state senators voted 33 to 16 in its favor. WFAE's Julie Rose spoke with All Things Considered Host Mark Rumsey about the progress of the measure.

RUMSEY: Julie, this bill is moving fairly quickly – despite pleas from Charlotte's mayor, city council and even Governor McCrory himself to slow down. What's driving this?

Julie Rose

A bill to place the Charlotte Airport under the control of a regional authority – rather than the city of Charlotte – has been delayed another week so lawmakers can gather more information on its potential impact. On Tuesday, the airport's own advisory committee acknowledged it, too, is in the dark about what such a change might mean. 

Once a month 11 volunteers appointed by the mayor and city council meet to basically rubber stamp Aviation Director Jerry Orr's spending plans. Orr's real bosses are the city manager and council.

Julie Rose

One claim keeps coming up in the debate over transferring control of the Charlotte airport to a regional authority and the speculation over what a merger between American and US Airways will mean for Charlotte.  That claim is that Charlotte is the cheapest place for airlines to do business. WFAE wondered whether that's true and why it matters.

wallygrom / Flickr

  Thursday's official news of a merger between US Airways and American Airlines brought a sigh of relief to Charlotte, which seems poised to maintain its prominence as a major hub. But WFAE's Julie Rose reports there's reason for some caution amid the optimism.

Adie Tomer of the Brookings Institution has one word for Charlotte – Cincinnati. It was a major hub for Delta back in 2008 when the airline merged with Northwest. Everyone was breathing a sigh of relief there, too, says Tomer.

Julie Rose

A power struggle is afoot over Charlotte's airport. The city council has long overseen it, but soon Republican lawmakers from Mecklenburg County will introduce a measure that would strip control of the airport from city hands. The plan has sparked anxiety and accusations as WFAE's Julie Rose explains.

Guns At Airports Hit New High In 2012

Jan 3, 2013

2012 was a banner year for guns in U.S. airports. The Transportation Security Administration seized more than 1,500 firearms at security checkpoints last year. That's up 14 percent over the previous year. 

Atlanta led the list with 115 firearms seized at security checkpoints in 2012, according to preliminary TSA numbers.  That makes some sense, since Atlanta is the busiest airport in the country. 

Charlotte Airport

Demolition will begin in the next two weeks on hourly parking decks at the Charlotte Airport to make way for a new seven-story parking tower. Aviation Director Jerry Orr says parkers will soon need to give themselves extra time getting to the terminal.

"For close to a year starting in the spring there will be no walking access to parking," says Orr.

He says the airport has plenty of shuttle buses to handle the extra passengers, but will increase the frequency of bus trips.