Battle for control over airport heats up

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The battle for control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport is heating up again after months of silence.

The head of the airport commission sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration asking for a decision on the airport's operating certificate.

City and state leaders fired back Friday after they said they were shocked by the letter saying both sides continue to look for a resolution.

Airport Commission Chairman Robert Stolz said after the long legal battle that created an airport commission, they still has no power to run the airport.

"It is my opinion that we have now run out of opportunities to settle this, and now need for you to weigh in whether the Commission needs a new operating certificate," Stolz wrote to the FAA.

This is so the court can lift its injunction keeping airport control in the city's hands.

“I’m not sure why the chair got out ahead of it the way he did,” said Mayor Pro-tem Michael Barnes.

It’s a move that had city leaders scratching their heads Friday.

Barnes said there are still strong efforts to resolve the issue.
“I think the FAA is waiting for the court to do their job for us, locally, to continue to make efforts,” Barnes said. “
That is something the mayor echoed after sending out a rebuttal statement Thursday.
“We have been dotting ‘Is’ and crossing ‘Ts,’” Mayor Pat Cannon said. “I think we are close.”
  Meanwhile, city leaders and officials in Raleigh soldier on.
Gov. Pat McCrory said he's still pushing for a resolution that will make both sides happy.
“I continue to have a goal to keep city in control while keeping the politicians out of its day-to-day operations,” McCrory said.
As for the legal battle, Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann said Friday no more court hearings are scheduled.
He said the judge recently asked attorneys for a status report and they are working on that now.           

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