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Airports Board Concerned Over Proposal To Give State Leaders More Power

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The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has decided to place a Metro station at Dulles Airport above ground, rather than below.
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The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has decided to place a Metro station at Dulles Airport above ground, rather than below.

The legislation Wolf introduced this week would make it easier for the governors of Maryland and Virginia, and the D.C. mayor, to replace members of the board that oversees Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

It would also increase the size of the board altogether -- giving Virginia four more members of the body that oversees the airports and the project connecting Metrorail service to Dulles.

"It would give Virginia the majority of appointments, because both airports are in Virginia, and on the rail situation, Virginia will pay and not the others," Wolf says.

The Airports Authority board says Wolf's proposal is "concerning because of its potential impact on our organization and its mission."

The board has come under fire from local leaders in the past few weeks for a approving a plan for a future metro station at Dulles Airport underground -- which is a lot more expensive than an alternative, above-ground station.

Wolf says the cost would fall on the shoulders of people who use the Dulles Toll Road.

"If they move ahead, the tolls on that road could be in the year 2020, $10 each way," Wolf says.

Wolf has also asked the U.S. Department of Transportation's Inspector General to conduct an audit of the board's operation and structure.

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