The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is scheduled to receive a briefing Wednesday on a proposal from a federal lawmaker that would give Virginia more seats on the authority that operates Dulles and Reagan airports.
Last month the board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) held a discussion on legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R) that would increase its size from 13 members to 17 and make it easier to remove members. Virginia would receive the extra seats, a total of nine members, because the two airports are located in the commonwealth.
“Anything that happens there has the most impact on Virginia,” Wolf has said.
However, the MWAA board has rejected that idea and has authorized its chairman Charles Snelling to oppose the effort.
The move comes as MWAA spent months involved in a bitter debate over costs of phase 2 of the Metrorail extension to Dulles and Loudoun County and the location of a station at the airport. Officials are in negotiations with representatives from the state, the U.S. Department of Transportation and local jurisdictions over how to pay for the second leg of the new line. The first portion is under construction through Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue and is scheduled to open to customers in late 2013.
Board members are appointed by the District mayor, the governors of Maryland and Virginia and the federal government.Wolf’s bill would also allow the governors, the D.C. mayor and the president to remove appointees from their respective jurisdictions, even if the appointees were chosen by their predecessors.
Snelling is scheduled to meet with the COG board during the Wednesday meeting. The council is a regional group of 21 local governments. The meeting will be held at noon, 777 North Capitol St., in the 3rd floor board room.
Wolf and Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) asked DOT earlier this year to audit MWAA. The inspector general announced this summer that he will investigate the “management policies and processes” of the authority.