WAMU 88.5 : News

Airports Authority Leadership Says It's Cleaning Up Its Act

Play associated audio
The MWAA oversees the management and operations of both Reagan National Airport and Dulless International Airport.
The MWAA oversees the management and operations of both Reagan National Airport and Dulless International Airport.

The leadership of the agency running the largest public transit project in the country says it is making progress toward cleaning up its contracting and hiring practices after a federal audit exposed shady dealings.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority chief executive Jack Potter wants it to be known his agency is adopting new travel, ethics, contracting and hiring policies, and training all its employees to follow them, after an audit by the federal Department of Transportation's Inspector General described a culture of nepotism inside its halls.

"To date, we've trained over 1,400 of our employees, we have ten to go," Potter says.

In a presentation to the MWAA board of directors, Potter said the new rules will leave no doubt about what's acceptable behavior at MWAA.

"One of the concerns I have is we have to tell our employees what the term nepotism means," Potter says. "I'll be very frank with you. We did not have a database saying who was related to who."

MWAA finds itself under intense public scrutiny, because it is managing the $6 billion Metro rail project to Dulles Airport and beyond into Loudon County, and is currently applying for a federal loan through the Department of Transportation to help finance its construction. Potter says he's still confident that loan will come through.

"We'll be in a much better position if we get the loan and I'm looking at it very positively," Potter says.

Additional federal dollars would possibly bring down projected toll rates on the Dulles Toll Road, which are currently set to finance 50 percent of the Silver Line's cost. A spokesman for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says no decisions have been made yet about MWAA's loan application.


A Grisly, Humorous Dissection Of Morality In 'Anatomy Theatre'

It was once thought that evil resided inside the body. So murderers were dissected to find it. That macabre practice is the subject of a dark but funny new opera, "Anatomy Theatre."

Can Arnold Schwarzenegger Persuade China To Eat Less Meat?

Like the U.S., China is battling obesity and climate change. So it's urging citizens to eat less meat — and spreading the word with public service ads featuring Hollywood stars.

Trump Lags Behind Clinton In 'Ground Game' Support

When running for office, you need a good "ground game." Some say Trump lacks what's needed to get out the vote. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Rob Jesmer, formerly with the RNC, about what that means.

President Obama Acknowledges 'Brexit' To Silicon Valley Crowd

President Obama delivered a speech Friday at Stanford University, and remarked on the Brexit vote in front of a crowd of young, tech-forward, pro-globalization attendees from 170 countries.

Leave a Comment

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