Foxx: Community should decide airport ownership

First Posted: 9/25/2014

CHARLOTTE (AP) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says the dispute over who controls Charlotte Douglas International Airport is what he calls “an unnecessary mess.”

The former Charlotte mayor told The Charlotte Observer he doesn’t know when the Federal Aviation Administration might make a decision.

“I think it behooves everybody to have the community decide,” Foxx said.

North Carolina lawmakers last year approved a plan to take control of the airport from the city and give it to a regional commission. They said that would prevent what they called “meddling” by the city.

Opponents called it a power grab by those outside the city.

While the 13-member commission was created under the legislation last year, it has not been allowed to run the airport because of a lawsuit by the city challenging the idea. The commission and members of the state’s congressional delegation asked the FAA to decide who should operate the airport.

Commission supporters have accused Foxx of slowing the FAA decision; as mayor, he opposed the removal of control of the airport from the city..

The U.S. Transportation Department has said Foxx will not be involved in the decision under an ethics agreement.