Skip to Main Content

Charlotte Airport Transfer Bill Advances

June 04, 2013

The House Transportation Committee today voted in favor of a revised version of SB 81 Charlotte Regional Airport Authority that would still transfer control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport from the City of Charlotte to a newly-created regional authority.

Representatives from the City of Charlotte have been negotiating with House bill sponsors, but sponsor Rep. Bill Brawley said those negotiations were at an “impasse.” Rep. Brawley said that legislators had offered to convene a study committee with some representatives appointed by the City of Charlotte leading up to a transition of airport control next year. Charlotte city manager Ron Carlee said he would not say that negotiations were at an impasse, but that the City wanted more time to study the issue with representatives from the Mecklenburg County business community.

Said Rep. Rodney Moore, “This is no more than a takeover or a grab from the City of Charlotte.”

Other Representatives from the Charlotte area expressed their concerns with the bill. Rep. Becky Carney questioned what would happen to airport employees who are currently employed by the City of Charlotte and have insurance and retirement benefits through the City. Rep. Brawley and legislative staff said that the airport authority could apply to participate in the Local Government Employees Retirement System so that employee retirement benefits would not be affected.

Rep. Moore also wondered why so many of the members of the new airport authority would come from outside of Mecklenburg County.

“The City of Charlotte has nursed that airport for 70 years, and now I’m seeing more skin in the game from regional partners,” Moore said.

Said Brawley, “It will reduce the political influence of any one group.”

SB 81 now moves on to the House Finance Committee for further consideration. For more on the bill from the Charlotte Observer, see here.

Posted on June 04, 2013 by Chris Nida