As U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) prepares a bill that would change the makeup of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board of Directors, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are asking him to include language that would give Northern Virginia more influence in appointing members.
The MWAA Board — which has been sharply criticized by Virginia officials in Fairfax and elsewhere for its handling of the Dulles Metrorail project, including a squabble over a labor agreement for Phase 2 of the line that will run from Reston to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County — currently includes three presidential appointees, five appointees from Virginia, three from D.C. and three from Maryland.
Wolf’s proposed legislation would scale down the board from 13 to nine members: six from Virginia, and one appointee each from the mayor of Washington, D.C., the governor of Maryland and the President of the United States.
In a letter to Wolf and U.S. Reps. Jim Moran (D-8th) and Gerry Connolly (D-11th), Supervisors requested Northern Virginia officials in Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun Counties have a hand in the appointment process.
“Changing the number of Board Members representing Virginia does not, in itself, ensure that they will be responsive to the public,” the letter reads.
They also requested that the legislation include criteria for picking MWAA Board members “to ensure that they can adequately address the issues that the MWAA Board regularly deals with.”
The board approved the letter at its Sept. 25 meeting, thanking the congressmen for their work but hoping for more change.
“We believe that improvements to the governance at MWAA are critical, so that reforms are not dependent on individual appointees, but rather become part of the institutional culture at MWAA,” reads the Board’s letter.