There are those who think that it's a good idea for Charlotte-Douglas International Airport to be removed from the authority of the City of Charlotte and handed over to what is known as a Regional Airport Authority. What is that, you may ask? It's a really good question, for starters.

In this particular case, it is proposed that the authority is made up of thirteen members - two representatives appointed by the City of Charlotte, one each from the six counties in the region, the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, the President ProTempore of the North Carolina Senate, the Governor of North Carolina, and two at-large members appointed by the other eleven members.

That's the summary. The actual counties (those six mentioned previously) are: Cabarrus, Gastonia, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union. The airport probably affects parts of York County about as much as it affects Iredell and Union County (and arguably even other areas of the others), but since York County isn't in North Carolina, they have to sit this one out.

Regardless, that's the whole idea of this plan. There is also the issue that it might be a problem that the current debt taken on by the airport might be imperiled if the oversight is transferred to a group different than the City of Charlotte. Since the airport generally operates on its own - that is, funds from other projects aren't usually used to repay their debt and vice-versa - I don't see how this would really affect things, but since the economy is in the toilet, I guess people are jumpy about such issues.

What I really find most interesting - other than the fact that York County won't have a seat at this "Regional Authority" - is another article stating that "Leaders in Iredell and Lincoln counties said they also wanted assurances that the bill's language would be cleaned up in the House to make it clear that the new authority would have no control over their regional airports."

Put another way - we want to control your airport, but you can't control ours. What sort of sense does that make? If there is going to be a regional authority, shouldn't it be able to dictate every airport in that region? For that matter, and since the intramodal yard at Charlotte-Douglas is going to be complete in the near future, and will be working in conjunction with the airport on a regular basis, wouldn't it make sense to have it be a regional transportation authority, to make sure that it all moves along smoothly?

Just sayin'.

Update: It looks like I'm not the only one who thinks that South Carolina counties may have something to say about the airport. It makes sense, after all. Just remember you saw it here first.

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