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McCrory Says Last-Minute Compromise Unlikely For Airport Bill

Julie Rose

Hours before state senators are expected to take a final vote to create a regional authority for the Charlotte airport, Governor Pat McCrory was in Charlotte speaking out on the issue.

As the vote has neared, McCrory began working behind the scenes to broker a compromise between legislators and the city of Charlotte and prevent the lawsuit Charlotte seems bound to file if the bill passes. Another last-minute compromise was in the works this morning, but McCrory said he wasn't sure it would happen because of "timing and other things."

"But I will says this - (Charlotte) Mayor (Patsy) Kinsey and I have promised to work together to do two things – first of all make sure that if there is a legal process to move forward, let's do it quickly and get this resolved. Second, let's make sure that airport operations continue in the most effective and efficient way possible."

McCrory says his main focus will be trying to reassure US Airways that the Charlotte airport is a good stable place for it to continue operating its largest hub.   A lawsuit could complicate that.

"I wish we would have never gotten to this point," says McCrory, adding it never would have happened during his time as mayor of Charlotte.

 "During my 14 years as mayor we did everything we could to keep politics out of the airport," says McCrory.

The measure to create an airport authority easily cleared the first of two full Senate votes yesterday and is scheduled for the final vote after 2 p.m. today.  As currently written, the bill calls for the Charlotte airport to transfer out of the city's control and into the hands of a regional authority immediately.  Until the authority's 11-member board is appointed, the airport's existing advisory committee of Charlotte citizens would function in its stead.