Posted: 4:32 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 2013

Interim airport director discusses changes at Charlotte-Douglas

By Scott Wickersham

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

While many are focused on the legal battle over control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, a lot of changes are happening at the airport itself.

Channel 9 was the first to sit down with Brent Cagle since he was named interim airport director.

He declined to discuss the legal battle, but did talk about life since Jerry Orr and some major changes coming soon at the airport.

Cagle came to Charlotte from Phoenix just 18 months ago and was hired by Orr.

He never imagined a year later he would have Orr's job.

"Clearly the new role has been challenging," he said.

It's also been busy with a billion dollars in capital projects, including a new airport entrance off Wilkinson Boulevard, 7,000-space hourly parking deck and plans to eliminate traffic jams at the terminal.

"We're making plans to extend the terminal curb font by adding lanes in the upper or lower roadway right in front of the terminal," Cagle said.

If he's still in charge, Cagle will oversee one of the most important negotiations at the airport in decades.

In 2016, a 28-year lease agreement with Charlotte's key airlines expires. He said Charlotte's growth will make that job easier.

"Over the last decade, Charlotte passenger traffic has grown by 78 percent. That's a testament to the strength of airport and the community," Cagle said.

Depending on how the legal battle plays out, Orr could be back in charge there soon.

Cagle said the airport will be fine either way and, sounding very much like Orr himself, he said the focus will remain the same no matter who has control.

"We provide the highest-quality service at the lowest possible price," Cagle siad.

Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee recently said they were running audits at the airport, trying to modernize areas like financing.

Cagle and his staff said that was put in process before Orr left and the bill was created to take control away from the city.

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