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.

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Scotch Whiskey Gets A Run For Its Money From Global Distillers

A Canadian company recently was named whiskey of the year — knocking Scotch brands from the top-five category. In the U.S., there's been a massive increase in single malts in particular.

Capitol Hill Lawmakers Find Living At The Office Makes Sense, Saves Cents

Three office buildings on the House side of the U.S. Capitol serve as offices, and by night as lawmakers' apartments. Dozens of lawmakers choose to sleep in the office when Congress is in session.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

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