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Statement on passage of SB 380 in the House and Senate

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kim McMillan, Corporate Communications & Marketing
704-336-2643 or

Cass Bonfiglio, Corporate Communications & Marketing

Yesterday, the General Assembly finally realized that their authority proposal was fatally flawed and repealed it early this morning. Unfortunately, they didn’t stop there and created a new last-minute proposal that o​nce again follows a unilateral path without regard to the 78 years of expertise held by the City of Charlotte in managing Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The new bill is extremely complex; therefore, the City is not making rash judgments about what it does or does not do. We are studying the bill thoroughly and examining the full range of options open to the City.  It is premature to discuss these options or what recommendations I may make to the Mayor and Council.

With regard to operations at the airport, Brent Cagle will remain in his role as Interim Aviation Director for now.  I am disappointed that members of the General Assembly have made disparaging statements about the airport’s leadership, especially since the airport is being led by a team hired and trained by Jerry Orr.  The most critical role of a leader is to ensure that continuity of operations extends beyond a single person.  I have full confidence in the staff that Jerry Orr hired.

To all of the City employees that work at the airport, I want to express appreciation and empathy for the uncertainty they have faced throughout this legislative ordeal.  There should be no mistake:  the airport performs as well as it does because of the dedicated work of each and every City employee who has committed him or herself to the highest levels of customer service and efficient operations. As the Mayor said at the last Council meeting, she and the Council stand behind our employees and will protect the employees’ interests.

Finally, I want to again reassure the traveling public and everyone associated with the airport that the City is committed ensuring continued operations at the airport, sustaining Charlotte as the best-value hub airport in the U.S. Airways/American system.

We are undaunted by the General Assembly’s interference with airport operations and we will do all that we can to mitigate the impacts of the legislation and to ensure stability at Charlotte-Douglas.​