CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A judge put the impending transfer of control of Charlotte Douglas on pause Thursday, saying the case needs FAA review.
Both sides battled it out in front of the judge Thursday morning in court.
The judge said the commission can try to attain a FAA Operations Certificate in the mean time. Previous Aviation Director Jerry Orr, the head of the new commission, said it will be just a matter of days to work with the FAA on that process.
The judge questioned in Thursday’s hearing if it’s worth the risk that the FAA won’t side with the commission, created with a bill that passed last week.
Two weeks ago, the N.C. General Assembly transferred the country's sixth-busiest airport and US Airways hub to a regional authority. But a judge blocked the move hours later in response to a city lawsuit.
Then, the state House and Senate voted last week to restore the airport to the city's ownership but gave day-to-day operations to a new commission including representatives from five surrounding counties.
City officials argue North Carolina’s General Assembly hurriedly passed the law and say it’s unconstitutional.
State and commission attorneys say it is constitutional because the airport would remain a city entity, the law just rearranged who would run it.