Airline Employee Testifies Before Congress About Safety Concerns at Charlotte Douglas Airport

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Safety concerns at Charlotte Douglas International Airport are getting attention from lawmakers in Washington.

An airline employee testified in front of Congress on Wednesday after her co-worker, Kendrick Hudson, died on the job a few months ago.

Investigators say it happened after the baggage tug he was driving hit a piece of luggage that had fallen on the tarmac.

It flipped and Hudson got pinned underneath.

Wednesday, Piedmont Airlines employee and local union vice-president Donielle Prophete testified about the incident in front of a house subcommittee on aviation.

“In the situation with Kendrick, we have been constantly, constantly talking about lighting. And they have not addressed the lighting issue yet,” Prophete told the subcommittee.

She told lawmakers she wants Piedmont Airlines and the airport to address what she considers poor lighting, hard to see lines on the tarmac, and outdated baggage vehicles.

“Kendrick did not see the piece of baggage until it was too late, likely because the bag was dark and there was insufficient lighting,” Prophete said.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport sent WCCB Charlotte a statement reading:

“The Airport commissioned a lighting study in 2019, based on reports from the airlines.  We received the consultant’s evaluation in January 2020 and are evaluating its recommendation.

The Airport’s number one priority is the safety and security of our passengers and the men and women who work here. The Airport and our partners constantly review safety and security measures. We are working with the North Carolina Department of Labor and OSHA in their investigation and continue to work with all our partners to review recommendations as the process unfolds. Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Mr. Hudson, our airline partner and airport family.

At this time, the NCDOL has not presented its final report to the Airport nor the airlines at this time.  We are not going to comment on the case due to pending litigation.”