by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Starting on the first of the year, Jerry Orr will no longer have a job with the airport. In their second meeting, the airport commission accepted Orr's letter of retirement. Orr said he's moving out of the way so that the mayor and the chairman can reach an agreement over who controls Charlotte Douglas.
Orr still said the power should be in the hands of the commission, but he hopes both parties can move forward. He's worked for the airport for more than 30 years, but Orr is now stepping aside, allowing interim director Brent Cagle to take over.
"If the new commission needs any help from me in the future, in whatever capacity, I'll be happy to do so," Orr said.
Chairman Robert Stolz says Orr turned in his letter two days ago. The airport commission accepted his plans to retire on Dec. 31.
"It was clearly his idea, and I think he was ready," Stolz said.
Cagle has already gotten the commission's approval to be the executive director. Eyewitness News asked him if Orr's decision to retire was the best move for the airport.
"Well I hope this will allow the airport to move forward, and I appreciate all the efforts to help the airport to move forward and meet future demand," Cagle said.
The city and the commission have to patch up their relationship if they want an end to the legal battle and the power struggle over Charlotte Douglas. Thursday commission members told Eyewitness News they believe that can happen.
"The city and the state come together, put together some type of settlement they both can agree on then they go to the legislature and present it to them … is the solution to the issue," Stolz said.
“I’d like to thank Jerry Orr for his great service to Charlotte and the state of North Carolina. I enjoyed working with you during my 14 years as Mayor of Charlotte and you are a true class act. I am confident that the Charlotte Airport has a great future ahead,” said N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory in an email Thursday night.
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