Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Peninsula Airport Commission: State transportation chief misinterpreted state policy

Peninsula Airport Commission board members and airport executives said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne is misinterpreting state policies in calling foul at the use of $3.55 million of state taxpayer funds to help repay a loan.

The statements came during a special meeting on Tuesday at the airport. At the heart of the discussion was the repayment of a multi-million dollar loan made to People Express Airlines in 2014. The startup ceased operations later that year.

Some members also blamed reporting about the loan payment and use of the funds, as well as Layne's decision to cut off state funds, for Elite Airways' decision to postpone starting service from Newport News/Williamsburg International. The airline said Monday night it was doing so "due to the challenging perceptions surrounding" the airport. The airline was originally scheduled to begin flights in March.

"I don't think I've misunderstood anything," Layne said when reached by phone Tuesday night. "I think the misunderstanding is about the fiduciary responsibility of the commission."

Story and video:   http://www.dailypress.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live nearby. It is interesting how once the money changes hands those responsible take broad liberty with it like making big loans to high risk ventures. I do not know the conditions of the state grant but when this state money is repackaged as incentive loans falls through for sometimes unforseen reasons we pidgeons always get billed with the screw-up.

Now that the State of VA has spoken clarification on the matter I predict the residents of Newport News, Hampton, York County and perhaps Williamsburg too are going to get stuck with the principal+(interest?)+(late payments?) in a multi-city referendum that is reworded as "further airport improvements/enhancements".

I find it something other than amusing to read the Peninsula Airport Commission assumes it can tell the VA State Transportation Commissioner that they do not understand their own policy. Time for some heads to roll. We had a real earthquake here in Aug-11. I think it is time for a managerial earthquake in Feb-17. Don't you people who run this place understand how to read grants/contracts?