• City scores a victory to keep control of airport

    By: Scott Wickersham


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The city of Charlotte scored another big victory in court Friday in the battle to keep control of the airport.

    A Superior Court judge shot down the commission's request to declare the new airport commission part of the city.

    The Federal Aviation Administration wants clarification on the action to decide if the commission can operate the airport under the city's current certificate.

    But the judge refused to clarify.

    Judge Robert Ervin would not answer and said it's not his place to issue an advisory opinion to the FAA.

    With no court or agency willing to answer the FAA's questions, the litigation could drag on for months.

    "Their counterclaims were dismissed," said Bob Hagemen, city attorney. "Our case proceeds. It's a major win for the city."

    Commission attorney Richard Vinroot said he is frustrated.

    "I wanted the judge to answers those two seemingly obvious easy questions," Vinroot said.

    And now they hope the FAA will make a decision about the operating certificate on its own.

    But, the legal wrangling is not over.

    The judge also dismissed the city's claim the local law creating the airport was unconstitutional and allowed the city to add another claim saying it violates airport contracts.

    Commission attorneys will try to get that tossed out. Both sides could be to back in court in 30 days.

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