CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Interim Airport Director Brent Cagle says he has concerns about using coal ash from Duke Energy as the foundation for a new runway at Charlotte-Douglas International.

Duke Energy was exploring the idea of trucking the coal ash from a now-closed power plant at Mountain Island Lake down to the airport where it could be used for fill.

The airport in Ashville is already using coal ash as fill and has not reported any serious issues. But Cagle says Ashville doesn t have to deal with the same number of flights as Charlotte-Douglas does.

I d be worried about the risk associated with placing coal ash as a structural fill under the airfield, especially given that this airport is the sixth busiest airfield in the nation, said Cagle.

The Interim Director did not rule out using coal ash for some other purpose at the airport.

Cagle also discussed the upcoming airport budget proposal for fiscal year 2015.

That budget would go up 8-percent from the current fiscal year to a total of $129 million. Cagle said the increase in the budget is needed to purchase a new fleet of shuttle buses, security improvements and updates around the main terminal.

Airlines using Charlotte-Douglas would be expected to see an increase in the fees they pay to use the airport, but Cagle did not expect a loss of business.

As we developed this budge, we were working with our airline partners and we feel comfortable and confident that American Airlines, our biggest business partner, fully supports this budget, Cagle said.

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