The Washington Post

Airports authority board holds four meetings out of the public eye

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority held four executive sessions Wednesday. The meetings behind closed doors occurred as officials had gathered for a board meeting and series of committee meetings.

The board, which oversees the operations of Reagan National and Dulles International airports and the construction of the new Dulles rail line, has come under criticism from Virginia legislators and watchdog groups for a lack of transparency.

On Wednesday, the board did have some public meetings, including a discussion on the costs of the rail extension, but retreated behind closed doors to discuss four matters, including “governance issues” and legislation proposed by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) to give Virginia more seats on the airports authority board.

It also held executive sessions on a contract for janitorial services and possible litigation involving its contract with SuperShuttle.

Quince T. Brinkley Jr., the board’s vice president and secretary, said those issues fall within the guidelines established for executive sessions in the panel’s bylaws.

He said the janitorial services contract involved an “audit and legal issue.” The SuperShuttle discussion was held in executive session, he said, because there may be possible “litigation and legal action.”

A SuperShuttle van ran into a jersey barrier on the Dulles Access Road in August, leaving one passenger dead and another injured.

The board also discussed its 2012 draft budget in executive session — a step that was taken, Brinkley said, because it was the “strategic part of the budget.”

He said the prepared budget will be presented to the finance committee and to the board in open session.

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.



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