Ky. auditor to review airport board finances

HEBRON, KY (FOX19) - Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen announced Wednesday that his office will conduct a special examination of Kenton County Airport Board that oversees the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron.

The review will include spending and travel by the board and airport administrators, the auditor's office said.  It will also focus on board policies and the airport's governance structure.  The auditor's office will make recommendations for improvements.

"CVG serves a metropolitan area of 2.1 million people and is critical to the economic vitality of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati," Edelen said in a statement.  "Making sure this asset is run efficiently and effectively is a necessary step toward attracting businesses, adding jobs and growing the economy of the region."

In a statement, the airport board said it "welcomes and promotes transparency. It is important to point out that in the last three years, overall spending by the board is down, including a 60 percent reduction in travel costs compared to the prior three years. We continue to work on improving efficiencies and welcome any recommendations that can help achieve that goal."

The auditor's office said the airport is a major economic engine, generating more than 16,000 direct and indirect jobs and $2.7 billion in spending by CVG operations, construction and visitors annually. It pumps $92 million a year in taxes into Ohio and Kentucky coffers.

"The airport's impact on Northern Kentucky and the commonwealth cannot be overstated," Edelen said. "This region has seen significant economic growth recently in comparison to areas like Austin, Texas, Columbus, Ohio and Charlotte  and Raleigh, N.C. Vital to that continued and sustainable growth is a healthy airport."

CVG has lost 500 daily flights and some 17 million passengers since 2005, according to the auditor's office.  It was recently ranked the second most expensive airport in the nation.

Airport board members are:

-Chairman — James Huff, Huff Realty
-Vice chairman — Larry Savage, Regional CEO, Humana Inc.
-Dorothy H. Air, associate senior vice president, Entrepreneurial Affairs, University of Cincinnati
-Mark G. Arnzen, principal, Arnzen, Molloy & Storm
-James A. Berger, executive vice president, Chas. Bilz Insurance Co.
-Kevin W. Canafax, vice president of public affairs-Midwest Region, Fidelity Investments
-Kathy Collins, vice president Private Banking, Fifth Third Bank
-Merwin Grayson Jr., president, Central Bank of Northern Kentucky
-Franklin S. Kling Jr., CEO and chairman, FK Holdings Inc.
-Timothy S. Mauntel, retired senior vice president, Morgan Stanley
-Paul A. McElhinney, president & CEO, GE Aviation – Services
-James A. Miceli, retired air traffic controller, Federal Aviation Administration
-Joseph E. Michels, vice president, Paul Michels & Sons Inc.
-John A. Mocker Jr., vice president and partner, LB Industries Inc.
-Dr. O'dell M. Owens, president, Cincinnati State Technical & Community College
-Nathaniel G. Smith, partner, SSK Communities
-Paul T. Verst, president and CEO, Verst Group Logistics
-Robert Zapp, president, Bank of Kentucky

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.