by: Scott Wickersham Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The man who helped build Charlotte Douglas Airport during the last four decades is stepping down.
Last night, with the threat of being fired, Jerry Orr retired and resigned his position as executive director of the newly formed airport commission.
Channel 9 spoke to state and local leaders about his decision and the man picked to take Orr's place.
Interim Airport Aviation Director Brent Cagle was named executive director of the commission when Orr retired.
"I do think there needs to be some changes going forward," Cagle said.
Cagle, who now runs the airport, and the commission trying to take over control is certainly in a position to make those changes.
He's finalizing plans to rebuild the international terminal, update the concourse, and rebuild the terminal arrivals and departures.
"Continue to look at how we improve our services and amenities to passengers," he said.
While he looks to rebuild the airport, Charlotte Mayor Pat Cannon is trying to rebuild bridges, patching up the relationship between Charlotte and Raleigh.
"Hopefully put this to bed once and for all. For us all to move forward, and I believe we are almost at that place," Cannon said.
Mecklenburg County Sen. Bob Rucho, who championed the bill to take airport control away from Charlotte, struck a similar tone.
"It was ultimately Jerry Orr saying, 'Let's put the airport first,'" Rucho said by phone. "Mayor Cannon has said he would (like) to get this resolved. And we would like to get this resolved."
Cagle is quick to point out he is still a city of Charlotte employee, but he said despite who ends up controlling the airport, his mission will stay the same.
"We're taking the strengths of the past and adding new elements to make the airport even stronger for the future," Cagle said.
Cagle said he wishes Orr well and will maintain his motto of providing the best possible quality for airport customers at the lowest possible price.
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