FAA won't make decision on Charlotte airport until lawsuit resolved



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte city leaders have received a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration saying it will not make a decision on Charlotte-Douglas International Airport's operating certificate until the city's lawsuit against the state is resolved in court.

Charlotte leaders are calling this a victory as they fight to maintain control of the airport.

The FAA letter stated that because they don't have clarification on whether the commission is an agency of the city or an independent special district or who is now responsible for the key roles of the airport sponsor and operator, they can't make a decision.

The letter said the Superior Court needs to address these questions of state law before the FAA can decide whether the commission could get a certificate to operate the airport.

The city is battling the state's plan to take control away from the city and place it in the hands of an airport commission. The city filed a lawsuit against the airport bill, and a judge ruled that until the suit goes to court, the city will remain in control of airport operations.

PDF: Letter from FAA to City of Charlotte

Mayor Patsy Kinsey said the FAA's decision is a major victory for the city. She said it validates the opinion of community leaders and the City Council who have said the General Assembly's legislation is significantly flawed.

The city is arguing in its lawsuit that the legislature violated the state Constitution in the way it attempted to create an airport commission.

Channel 9 anchor Scott Wickersham first reported this as a possibility Monday after speaking to Commission attorney Richard Vinroot.

Wickersham is working to get a more detailed explanation of what this decision means from the city attorney.

But it does mean Charlotte is still running its airport for now.

READ MORE: Leaders pushing for airport commission ready to return to court