The AAC qualification battle

From the Charlotte Observer:

When the General Assembly passed a law to transfer control of Charlotte’s airport from the city to an independent commission, legislators said their goal was to remove politics from its oversight.

Instead, they wanted to put aviation and business experts in charge.

But as the commission takes shape, critics say new members don’t have more airport expertise than the City Council members currently in charge of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Appointees and commission attorney Richard Vinroot, however, say their business backgrounds and other experience make them qualified.

What a complete joke. I’ve read the minutes for the existing Airport Advisory Council for the past 10 years and I can’t recall a member ever voting against any item Jerry Orr was proposing. And unsurprisingly, Jerry Orr and his current backers seemed just fine with that. Where the tension set in is when the city started to question Orr, relations soured, and we are where we are today.

What the Friends of Jerry really want is what we’ve had in the past — a nice group of cheerleaders on the airport board that won’t ask any hard questions of Orr but will make a lot of noise about about how incredibly wonderful Charlotte’s aviation future is. Vinroot may talk about the appointees’ qualifications, but the reality is that applying too much industry knowledge or some business sense in providing oversight will not be appreciated by the people pushing for a regional authority. Jerry Orr is the aviation equivalent of a rock star… and one does not question a rock star.

Michael Lowrey

Michael Lowrey is a contributor to Carolina Journal and a policy analyst for the John Locke Foundation. Lowrey has written numerous articles for the foundation on topics su...