A Superior Court judge sided with the city of Charlotte in a ruling issued Monday that bars the Charlotte Airport Commission from running the city’s airport without prior approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
A Superior Court judge said he’s likely to rule next week on the city of Charlotte’s lawsuit to block a new commission from taking control of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, after hearing arguments from both sides Friday.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a letter last week that it hasn’t considered the issue of who should control Charlotte Douglas International Airport because the city of Charlotte hasn’t made a formal request – something the City Council has said it has no interest in doing.
The chairman of the Charlotte Airport Commission called the group’s legal situation “the worst example of public policy I have seen in my life” Wednesday night, as the deadlocked group was unable to reach a decision on whether to vigorously fight for their own existence in court.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called the dispute over who will run Charlotte’s airport “an unnecessary mess,” and suggested that after almost two years a federal solution to the fight might not be near.
How much longer will the fight over who should run Charlotte Douglas International Airport continue? There was no clear answer Thursday, as the Charlotte Airport Commission met again despite not having the power to run the airport.
Congressman Robert Pittenger and other members of the Charlotte-area delegation are hoping a third letter they sent to the Federal Aviation Administration will break the logjam around the question of who will run Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
A year ago, Charlotte lawyers asked a judge for an injunction within minutes of the General Assembly passing a bill that transferred control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport from City Council to a new commission.
The owner of a taxi company that was shut out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport filed a lawsuit Thursday against some of the major players involved in the controversial 2011 selection process, including former Mayor Patrick Cannon, former Aviation Director Jerry Orr and former tourism chief Tim Newman.
The Federal Aviation Administration has yet to decide whether a new, independent commission should run Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and the federal agency has not responded to a letter last month from congressional representatives asking for a decision.
Instead of talking with a Customs and Border Protection agent at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, arriving international passengers now have the option of pressing a few buttons on a kiosk before being cleared to re-enter the U.S.
City officials have said they will consider letting more cab companies pick up passengers at the airport in the wake of the allegations, though any changes would likely take many months. Currently, three companies have the exclusive contract.
More cab companies could be allowed to pick up passengers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, in the wake of allegations that a pay-to-play scheme tied to former Mayor Patrick Cannon undermined the selection process. Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle said Tuesday that the airport needs to decide whether to renew the contract in about three weeks. And while he said he believes the process to select the cab companies was fair, Cagle said the airport needs to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
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