Auditor at CVG Announces Yet Another Northern Kentucky Examination
Wed, 11/13/2013 - 15:16 RCN Newsdesk
Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen announced Wednesday that his office would conduct a special examination of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
The decision follows a report published in the Cincinnati Enqurier by reporter James Pilcher that highlighted the amount of money the Kenton County Airport Board spends on travel.
The Auditor’s office will focus on board policies and the airport’s governance structure and make recommendations for improvement, Edelen said during a news conference in Florence. Spending and travel by the board and airport administrators will be examined.
“CVG serves a metropolitan area of 2.1 million people and is critical to the economic vitality of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati,” Edelen said. “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.”
The airport itself 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, TX, Columbus, OH and Charlotte and Raleigh, NC. Vital to that continued and sustainable growth is a healthy airport.”
CVG has lost 500 daily flights and some 17 million passengers since 2005. It was recently ranked the second most expensive airport in the nation. Yet, it is the twelfth largest cargo airport and is considered the best regional airport in the country. New carriers have recently announced they will begin adding flights.
“This airport is at an important crossroads in its 65-year history,” Edelen said. “My goal is to provide a roadmap for improving operations and fostering growth.”
The Auditor’s office frequently conducts special examinations of public agencies and in recent years has uncovered waste and abuse at such entities as the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky Emergency Management and Mason and Dayton Independent Schools.
In the past year and a half, the Auditor’s office has launched several Northern Kentucky special examinations, including the City of Covington. That examination, which is looking at alleged embezzlement by the former finance director, is ongoing.
“Excessive travel and spending is an all-too-common theme in these exams,” Edelen said. “Despite the repetitive nature of our findings, we continue to see public officials justify wasting public money. Taxpayers are tired of it and frankly, I’m tired of it. We must strive to become better stewards of our precious public resources.”
Photo: CVG Airport Tower