A bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Moffitt to change control over the Asheville Regional Airport is progressing in the North Carolina General Assembly and the Hendersonville Times News supports it. Here are some excerpts from the paper’s June 17 editorial about the measure:
Legislation to create a true regional authority to run the Asheville Regional Airport should help resolve some longstanding disputes between the city of Asheville and Henderson County.
The legislation, House bill 522, introduced by Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Asheville, will strengthen Henderson County’s representation on the airport board, says fellow Republican N.C. Rep. Chuck McGrady. McGrady is among supporters of the bill, which has passed the N.C. House and is expected to soon be approved in the Senate.
The airport has historically been under the control of the city of Asheville and Buncombe County. For a long time, the Airport Authority was made up of three representatives from Asheville and three from Buncombe County, with a seventh member appointed by authority members. For a long time, Henderson County had no representation. …
Under the new legislation, Henderson County, Asheville and Buncombe County will each have two seats on the authority board, with those six appointing the seventh member. This will make the authority board truly regional. That is good for Henderson County. …
Also under the bill, the WNC Ag Center will no longer be owned by Asheville but will become the property of the N.C. Department of Agriculture. ….
When Moffitt first introduced the airport legislation last year, Asheville residents complained it would “take” a city asset without compensation. What the legislation really does is establish a truly regional airport jointly governed by the local governments that have a major stake in the airport’s success.