WASHINGTON, D.C. —Following news that the Kenton County Judge-executive has named a top Ohio executive to the CVG Airport Executive Board, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded the announcement while reaffirming his call to Kentucky leaders to name Ohio residents to the airport’s executive committee. According to a recent Cincinnati Enquirer article, Mike Schlotman – senior vice president and chief financial officer at Kroger – has been appointed to the airport board. Schlotman is a resident of Northern Kentucky.
“The appointment of a Cincinnati business leader to the CVG Airport Board is encouraging,” Brown said. “Yet, with more than 60 percent of airline passengers coming from Ohio, it’s crucial that Ohio has a voting interest in decisions before the board. While I am pleased that a top Ohio business leader will be joining the committee, more must be done to ensure that representatives of all users of the airport have a meaningful voice on the Board.”
In March, Brown called on Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) to revisit the composition of the Board so that Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) can best serve the Greater Cincinnati region in the highly-competitive commercial aviation market. Although it is estimated that more than 60 percent of passengers departing from the airport are Ohio residents, Ohio representatives on the Airport’s Board do not have a vote on issues before the Board.
Brown’s call follows a series of investigate reports by the Cincinnati Enquirer highlighting improper use of public funds for travel and spending allocations by members of the Kenton County Airport Board. As a result, three members of the Board resigned In February 2014. With these vacancies, Brown urged Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) to revisit the Board’s composition. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the seven voting members of the Board have significant power as they “call the shots on every dollar spent on airport operations, negotiate with airlines on new flights and decide how airport land and facilities will be developed.” According to CVG, there are 18 members on the Board. The seven voting members are all appointed by the Kenton County Judge Executive.
Brown has been a longtime advocate for CVG airport. In February 2011, Brown wrote a letter to Delta CEO Richard Anderson, noting a dramatic decrease in flight levels and fewer direct flights from CVG as hurting southwest Ohio consumers and the Cincinnati business community. Brown also wrote to the Kenton County Airport Board Chairman in March 2011 urging the board to focus on attracting new airlines, lower ticket costs, and increased passenger traffic.
Brown’s letter to Beshear can be found: HERE.