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MWAA Opposes Restructuring Plan

A proposed legislation would give Virginia greater presence on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board.
Jonathan Wilson
A proposed legislation would give Virginia greater presence on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board.

The chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority wants local leaders to oppose federal legislation that would give Virginia more influence on its board.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has proposed legislation that would give Virginia four more members on the MWAA board when it already has a majority. The bill came in reaction to the recent dustup between Fairfax and Loudoun counties and MWAA over billions of dollars in funding for the Dulles Metrorail project. MWAA president Charles Snelling went before the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) to ask the body to express opposition to the measure. The net effect would be to transfer absolute control of the airports to Richmond.

COG's board of directors eventually agreed, but not before Snelling took his lumps from Fairfax and Loudoun's COG representatives for a lack of cooperation during the debate over whether Dulles' planned Metrorail station would go above or below ground.

"I felt that Fairfax and Loudoun counties were not listened to during the process of trying to work through what was a very difficult decision," says Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax board of Supervisors.

But even Bulova voted to formally oppose Wolf's legislation. The vast majority of COG's board says Wolf's plan would detract from the spirit of regional cooperation.

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