State Audit: Maryland Airports Leave Millions On Table

A Department of Legislative Services audit released yesterday found that the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA), a modal administration of the Maryland Department of Transportation that operates BWI and Martin State airports, has for years been recovering millions of dollars in expenses from airline landing fees instead of seeking applicable federal reimbursement. From the Legislative Auditor’s cover letter:

Our audit disclosed that MAA had not fulfilled certain Federal Aviation Administration requirements relating to its noise compatibility program and, as a result, $4.6 million in expenditures were not reimbursed with federal funds set aside for this purpose. As of September 30, 2015, MAA had $12.4 million in an escrow account for the noise compatibility program; however, no program costs had been reimbursed from this account. Instead, MAA advised that these costs were recovered through airline landing fees.

MAA also did not always competitively procure vehicle and equipment maintenance services or use an available Statewide contract. Finally, our audit noted control and record keeping deficiencies relating to cash receipts and purchasing transactions.

The Capital Gazette reports that MAA indicated that only $1.9 million was even eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Aviation Administration. That reimbursement was denied because the state did not perform the required noise-level testing.

The audit report is available here.