RALEIGH, N.C. -- The vote came in just before 5 p.m. Tuesday; the State Senate passed a bill to turn Charlotte Douglas Airport into a regional authority.
The first hurdle passed in a critical and controversial vote. Late Tuesday afternoon, the State Senate voted for a bill to turn Charlotte Douglas Airport into a regional authority.
The final vote will come on Wednesday.
NBC Charlotte is in Raleigh, where the tug of war over control has been going on for weeks.
Currently the City of Charlotte controls the airport. Recently, Charlotte city leaders questioned how $800 million in bonds, backed by the city, could be transferred to a regional authority.
NBC Charlotte got our hands on a letter written by bond attorneys hired by those pushing for the transfer, and it says the senate bill "will not impair the contractual obligations owed to bond holders" and "should not require consent" of the bondholders.
The City of Charlotte released the following statement in response to the Senate vote:
The airport authority bill, SB 81, passed a procedural vote in the North Carolina Senate today and thus could proceed to a final vote in the Senate as early as tomorrow. The City will shortly be starting the Airport Governance Study and will share the results with the General Assembly in early May. We look forward to working with the North Carolina General Assembly to determine the wisest course of governance of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.