NC Legislators Attempt Takeover Of Charlotte Airport

NC Legislators Attempt Takeover Of Charlotte Airport

Thursday, March 14, 2013

North Carolina Senate gave final approval on Wednesday to move toward a takeover of one of the country’s busiest airports by pulling control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport away from city officials.

The state Senate voted 33-16 along party lines to give control of the country’s eighth-busiest airport to a new, regional airport authority run primarily by representatives of five surrounding counties, the governor and legislative leaders.

The bill, introduced by Republican Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews, would transfer airport control from the city of Charlotte to an independent, 13-member authority.

Democratic Sen. Malcolm Graham of Charlotte called the move a “takeover,” which was debated for less than an hour in two Senate committees.

Because the bill is being treated as a local issue, Gov. Pat McCrory would neither sign it into law nor have a chance to veto it. The former Charlotte mayor has urged his fellow Republicans in the General Assembly to slow down and study the impact of a takeover but did not say he opposed the idea.

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