The Look in Brief

Nashville Airport board seats new members, despite protest from city and FAA

By: - July 7, 2023 6:00 am
A Delta Airlines plane taxis down a runway at Nashville International Airport. (Photo: John Partipilo)

A Delta Airlines plane taxis down a runway at Nashville International Airport. (Photo: John Partipilo)

The Metro Nashville Airport Authority officially seated its newly appointed state board members at a meeting Thursday, despite protests from the Metro Nashville government and concerns over recognition by the federal government.

“We now have two boards,” said Wally Dietz, the Metro Nashville Legal Director.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation to dissolve and create a new board to oversee the Metro Nashville Airport, consisting of six state appointments and two from the Nashville mayor.

Before the state intervention, Mayor John Cooper appointed and Metro Council approved all members to the airport board.

FAA won’t recognize new Nashville airport board until the state and city resolve the lawsuit

The new law went into effect on July 1, with Metro Nashville suing beforehand to block it. Federal Aviation Administration then told airport officials they would only recognize the previous board until the suit ended.

The court will hear Nashville’s challenge to the airport law heard on July 28. But, without a court injunction stopping its implementation, airport officials seated the new board.

The state officials think the new board is valid because the court has yet to stop the law, while Nashville officials believe the FAA letter supersedes the law.

Further complicating the matter, H.G. Realty Hill Realty CEO Jimmy Granbery and businessman Bobby Joslin are members of boards both the Nashville-appointed and state-appointed boards.

Dietz said because those members accepted the new appointments, they more than likely resigned their seats on the Nashville board.

“They can’t serve on two boards at once,” Dietz said. “There is an irreconcilable conflict.”

If the court rules in Nashville’s favor Dietz expects the council to replace the two men.


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Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman is a reporter with the Tennessee Lookout. He has a particular love for data and using numbers to explain all kinds of topics. If you have a story idea, he'd love to hear it. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 615-249-8509.