• Airport bill slows down in state house

    By: Jim Bradley

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For weeks the city has been asking state legislators to wait for the study that they have commissioned about the impact of an airport authority.

    On Wednesday night it appears the airport bill has been taken off the fast track in the state house, but Eyewitness News is learning the city still has doubts about whether a delay will make a difference.

    Control of Charlotte's airport, like the planes that fly above it, remains up in the air, but on Wednesday night the city has gotten at least a temporary reprieve.

    "Well, it is good news, certainly good news," said Mayor Anthony Foxx.

    Foxx is talking about a promise from Rep. Bill Brawley to postpone a vote in the state house until after a city-sponsored study on the impact of an airport authority is completed.

    The city study is due by May 1.

    "It is better than the fast track for sure, but indications I have is that some of the slowing down could be window dressing in that it would move forward anyway," said Foxx.

    Brawley told Eyewitness News on Wednesday that he is openly skeptical of the city's study and doubts it will change his belief that the state, not the city, should control the airport.

    "Charlotte has a reputation, whether deserved or not, of producing studies that justify what they want to do," said Brawley.

    The city disagrees. New City Manager Ron Carlee said he is determined that the study have not built-in conclusion.

    "I do not think we want to spend $150,000 just for someone to tell us what we already know. I am really looking for real data and information to come out of this study," he said.

    In his first week on the job, Carlee said he understands how big an issue this is and he said he has already made clear to the people doing the study that he expects it to be objective.

    Brawley said if the study is not finished by May 1, he will not hold the authority bill back from a vote.


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