FAA signals it won’t intervene in Charlotte airport dispute


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has signaled that it won’t intervene in a dispute over control of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

According to The Charlotte Observer (http://bit.ly/28L0eGT), the FAA this month updated its policy on disputed management changes at public airports. The move means Charlotte will remain in control of the airport.

In a document published June 6, the FAA said it will accept management change requests only if there is a legal resolution of any dispute over control.

“Seeking to change an airport’s ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations is a local decision,” the FAA said. “The state or local government must file an application for FAA approval of such a change.”

The FAA said it published the notice in an effort to “to clarify FAA’s legal authority and policy regarding changes of sponsorship at federally-obligated, publicly-owned airports.”

City and state officials have been involved in a dispute over management of the airport since 2013 when state lawmakers passed a bill creating a new commission to oversee the airport.

Republican lawmakers said the move was needed to protect the airport from meddling by the city. Charlotte officials called the move a power grab.

The city filed a lawsuit to stop the commission from taking over, and in October 2014, a judge issued a permanent injunction blocking the commission from operating the airport, leaving the city in charge.

The FAA is overseen by U.S. Transportation Secretary and former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, who opposed state takeover of control of airport.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

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