• City leaders consider strategy if airport authority created

    By: Jim Bradley

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Eyewitness News has learned city leaders are considering a strategy that could allow them to maintain control over millions of dollars' worth of projects at the airport even if state legislators succeed in creating a new airport authority to oversee it.

    Senate Bill 81, which has already been approved by the NC Senate, states "The city of Charlotte shall transfer (airport property) to the authority within 90 days" of the Authority being approved, "except if approval of a federal agency ... is required."

    The Federal Aviation Administration said while it doesn't have a voice in whether an airport authority is created, it would have to approve the transfer of the airport and its land from the city to the new authority. What's more, the FAA said the request to transfer ownership of airport property would have to come from the city of Charlotte.

    That's important, because the FAA said whoever owns the airport is the entity it uses to funnel millions of dollars for construction and other projects at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. So, unless the city agreed to transfer the airport property, a new authority would still need to get approval from Charlotte City Council to spend the FAA funds.

    Eyewitness News has now learned city leaders are considering whether to use that as a bargaining chip as they seek to negotiate the structure and make-up of a new authority to run the airport.

    City leaders aren't talking publicly about that strategy. However, on Thursday Councilman Andy Dulin indicated the fight for control of the airport may not be over.

    "Did they not think we were going to put up a fight?" Dulin said. "The airport's worth fighting for."Eyewitness News has now learned city leaders are considering whether to use that as a bargaining chip as they seek to negotiate the structure and make-up of a new authority to run the airport. 

    City leaders aren't talking publicly about that strategy.  However, on Thursday Councilman Andy Dulin indicated the fight for control of the airport may not be over.

    "Did they not think we were going to put up a fight?" Dulin said. "The airport's worth fighting for."

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