CHARLOTTE, NC — Mayor Patsy Kinsey has appointed three Charlotte residents to serve on the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Commission. Under the law creating the Commission, the City of Charlotte is given seven appointments; four by the Council and three by Mayor Kinsey.
The Mayor’s appointees to the commission are:
* Aaron McKeithan, Jr., West Side neighborhood leader and retired technician from the health care industry
* Joan Higginbotham, former NASA Astronaut and current Director of Community Relations at Lowe’s Corporation
* Cameron Harris, insurance executive with Cameron M. Harris and Company, LLC
Kinsey’s criteria for selection included areas of expertise critical to the Airport’s success. The appointees bring a cross-section of experience in aviation, business, real estate, community engagement, and economic development.
The law creating the commission mandates that appointments be made to it by October 1. However, the Mayor’s action does not signal that the City lends legitimacy to the legislation which took the airport away from City control, despite 78 years of successful management and growth.
In addition to their appointments to the commission, Kinsey and the Council have one appointment each to the commission’s five-member oversight committee. Those appointments are still pending.
With the firm belief that the legislation creating the commission is legally flawed and would, if implemented, harm the airport, the city filed a lawsuit and obtained an injunction that stopped the immediate transfer of control. With the injunction in place, the city continues to operate the airport pending resolution of legal issues.