MWAA Board Pushes Back Against Criticism | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

MWAA Board Pushes Back Against Criticism

Play associated audio
Brown says the MWAA deserves praise for its handling of the Silver Line, not criticism.
Rebecca Cooper
Brown says the MWAA deserves praise for its handling of the Silver Line, not criticism.

A day after U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a scathing letter criticizing MWAA, the agency that oversees Reagan National and Dulles Airports, a member of that agency's board of directors is pushing back

LaHood publicly admonished the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority board of directors a day after praising the authority's biggest project — the Silver Line — as a model for the entire country, comparable to the Panama Canal.

"I do not think it was unfair or inaccurate," says MWAA board member Bob Brown. "I was a little surprised to see the date on it, however, because most of what is in that letter is old news."

Some of what Brown refers to as old news has to do with overseas travel expenses. Board Member Dennis Martire burned through nearly $40,000 to attend conferences in 2010 and 2011, according to MWAA records. Martire declined to comment for this story, as he is locked in a legal battle with the state of Virginia after Gov. Bob McDonnell attempted to remove him from the board. The airports authority has revised its travel policy.

"I don't think anyone should conclude that the people associated with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority are going to stop traveling.  That is not in the interest of the Airports Authority," says Brown. "It is not in the interest of promoting better air service in the Washington region."

Brown says MWAA should be congratulated for its handling of the Silver Line Rail project to Dulles. If anything, he says criticism should be directed at Virginia, which has committed only $150 million of the project's approximate $5.5 billion cost. Brown says he hopes Secretary LaHood will push for additional federal dollars.

"There is no major transportation project anywhere in the country of this scale that is being built so heavily on the backs of local funding," says Brown.

Federal funding covers about one-sixth of the Silver Line's costs.

NPR

What's A Writer Gotta Do To Get A Little Health Care Around Here?

When you're making plans to become a famous author, just remember that you're going to want health care — especially when 40 rolls around and your body is no longer made of rubber.
NPR

When Zero Doesn't Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food

One in 10 packaged foods still contains trans fats, according to a new study. The problematic oils give foods a rich taste and texture and extend shelf life, but have been linked to heart disease.
WAMU 88.5

Testimony Wraps In McDonnell Trial, Closing Arguments Expected Friday

Leaving the courthouse this afternoon, the former Virginia governor said he was confident in his legal team's defense: "We've got three of the best law firms in the country that are working on this case."
NPR

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans ranks Amazon's new batch of five series pilots, asking why none of them seem break the rules of TV quite enough to draw attention.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.