October 1, 2013

Contact: Al Killeffer
(704) 336-3438

Charlotte, NC — Mayor Patsy Kinsey has appointed three Charlotte residents to serve on the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Commission. Under the law creating the Commission, the City of Charlotte is given seven appointments; four by the Council and three by Mayor Kinsey.

The Mayor’s appointees to the Commission are:

·         Aaron McKeithan, Jr., West Side neighborhood leader and retired technician from the health care industry

·         Joan Higginbotham, former NASA Astronaut and current Director of Community Relations at Lowe’s Corporation

·         Cameron Harris, insurance executive with Cameron M. Harris and Company, LLC

Kinsey’s criteria for selection included areas of expertise critical to the Airport’s success. The appointees bring a cross-section of experience in aviation, business, real estate, community engagement, and economic development.

The law creating the Commission mandates that appointments be made to it by October 1. However, the Mayor’s action does not signal that the City lends legitimacy to the legislation which took the airport away from City control, despite 78 years of successful management and growth.

At Kinsey’s direction, City Manager Ron Carlee is working to contact all Commission members to arrange for them to take the oath of office and schedule the Commission’s first meeting. Under the law creating the Commission, all members are required to be sworn in and then six are required to call a meeting, which in turn requires a 48-hour public notice. City staff will be responsible for arranging the meeting space and any administrative and logistical support for the Commission. At this time, the Commission’s first meeting has not been set.

In addition to their appointments to the Commission, Kinsey and the Council have one appointment each to the Commission’s five-member Oversight Committee. Those appointments are still pending.

With the firm belief that the legislation creating the Commission is legally flawed and would, if implemented, harm the airport, the City filed a lawsuit and obtained an injunction that stopped the immediate transfer of control. With the injunction in place, the City continues to operate the airport pending resolution of legal issues.

For more information on the City’s appointments to the Commission, and to learn more about Charlotte Douglas International Airport, please visit