Fargo City Commissioner Floats Idea of Doing Away With Airport Authority

The fate of the Authority could be decided next week in executive session

FARGO, N.D. — After a walkout because the Municipal Airport Authority voted to reject the City of Fargo’s memorandum, the city moves to decide the fate of the board.

“They decided not to sign that, and so they want to do all their human resources, payroll, computer technology all those things independently,” Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn said.

The Airport Authority says the cost of those services is over 100 thousand dollars. The board says its new plan would improve quality and save money.

“Why would the city not be happy with the government doing something cheaper and go to a private contractor?” Fargo Municipal Airport Authority Board Chair Mike Haugen questioned.

With that switch in place, Commissioner Piepkorn says there are more costs involved and the idea of abolishing the Authority is on the table.

“Basically, it will take some time because there are a lot of technical things you have to do, but that is something we will debate in our executive session,” Piepkorn said.

The Airport Authority says the abolishment would take away the airport’s FAA certification.

“The airport does lose its operating certificate, contrary to what some in the city believe, without the operating certificate. No airlines with 30 seats or more can land at this airport,” said Haugen.

Commissioner Piepkorn claims the city no longer having an Airport Authority wouldn’t hurt travel.

“That’s absolutely false. I just think that’s reflective of their management style that they would do we checked with the FAA. They do not do that,” Piepkorn said.

The fate of the Authority, which has been around for over 50 years, will be decided next week in executive session with the city commission on who will govern the skies of the Hector International Airport.

Mayor Mahoney’s staff says the mayor will not comment further until after the commission’s next session.

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