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MWAA travel far exceeds that of commissions elsewhere

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Local,Virginia,Transportation,Liz Essley

The airports authority that oversees Washington Dulles International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Dulles Toll Road and the Dulles Rail project spends about $200,000 every year for board members to travel to both domestic and exotic, far-off locations. But other airport boards contacted by The Washington Examiner, all of which consisted of political appointees overseeing more than one airport, don't spend nearly as much as the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

The commission that oversees Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport spends about $1,500 a year for members' travel to its meetings.

Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey don't even have a travel budget.

The board in Columbus, Ohio, sends its chairman to just one conference a year.

The board running Detroit's airport doesn't have its own travel budget, but it allows two or three members to take one trip each every year.

Minneapolis airport commissioners spent about $21,500 in 2010 and $25,300 in 2011 on travel for conferences and travel to its meetings -- a 10th of what the Washington board spends annually.

MWAA officials note that their board has federal appointees who live in Ohio and North Carolina, and the travel budget must cover their travel to meetings, in addition to more far-off journeys for conferences and events.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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