63-56. Joint operation of airports.

(a) All powers, rights and authority granted to any municipality in this Article may be exercised and enjoyed by two or more municipalities either within or without the territorial limits of either or any of said municipalities and within or without this State, or by any municipality acting jointly with any other municipality therein either within or without this State, provided the laws of such other state permit such joint action.

(b) Any two or more municipalities may enter into agreements with each other, duly authorized by ordinance or resolution, as may be appropriate, for joint action pursuant to the provisions of this section. Concurrent action by the governing bodies of the municipalities involved shall constitute joint action.

(c) Each such agreement shall specify its terms; the proportionate interest which each municipality shall have in the property, facilities and privileges involved, and the proportion of preliminary costs, costs of acquisition, establishment, construction, enlargement, improvement and equipment, and of expenses of maintenance, operation and regulation to be borne by each, and make such other provisions as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. It shall provide for amendments thereof and for conditions and methods of termination; for the disposition of all or any part of the property, facilities and privileges jointly owned if said property, facilities and privileges, or any part thereof, shall cease to be used for the purposes herein provided or if the agreement shall be terminated, and for the distribution of the proceeds received upon any such disposition, and of any funds or other property jointly owned and undisposed of, and the assumption or payment of any indebtedness arising from the joint venture which remains unpaid, upon any such disposition or upon a termination of the agreement.

(d) Municipalities acting jointly as herein authorized may create a board from the inhabitants of such municipalities for the purpose of acquiring property for establishing, constructing, enlarging, improving, maintaining, equipping, operating and regulating the airports and other air navigation facilities and airport protection privileges to be jointly acquired, controlled, and operated. Such board shall consist of members to be appointed by the governing body of each municipality involved, the number to be appointed by each to be provided for by the agreement for the joint venture. Each member shall serve for such time and upon such terms and as to compensation, if any, as may be provided for in the agreement.

(e) Each such board shall organize, select officers for terms to be fixed by the agreement, and adopt and from time to time amend rules of procedure.

(f) Such board may exercise, on behalf of the municipalities acting jointly by which it is appointed, all the powers of each of such municipalities granted by this Article, except as herein provided, subject, however, to such limitations as may be contained in the agreement between such municipalities. Real property, airports, restricted landing areas, air protection privileges, or personal property costing in excess of a sum to be fixed by the joint agreement, may be acquired, and condemnation proceedings may be instituted, only by authority of the governing bodies of each of the municipalities involved. The total amount of expenditures to be made by the board for any purpose in any calendar year shall be determined by the municipalities involved by the approval by each. No real property and no airport, other air navigation facility, or air protection privilege, owned jointly, shall be disposed of by the board, by sale, or otherwise, except by authority of the appointed governing bodies, but the board may lease space, area or improvements and grant concessions on airports for aeronautical purposes or purposes incidental thereto.

(g) Each municipality is authorized and empowered to enact such ordinances as are provided for by this Article, and to fix by such ordinances penalties for the violation thereof, which ordinances shall have the same force and effect within the municipality which enacted them, and on any property controlled by it, either separately or jointly with another municipality, or adjacent thereto, whether within or without the territorial limits of it, or either or any of them, as ordinances of the municipality involved, and may be enforced in such municipality in like manner as are its other ordinances.

(h) Condemnation proceedings may be instituted in the names of two or more municipalities jointly, and the property acquired by such joint condemnation proceedings shall be held by the municipalities as tenants in common, each municipality being entitled to a pro rata interest in said property as the value of its contribution to the acquisition of said property bears to the total cost of acquiring said property, and in the event one municipality desires to acquire property for expansion of or addition to the facilities, and the other or others do not elect to join in the acquisition of such property, such municipality may institute condemnation proceedings in its name individually, and all property now owned or hereafter acquired by a municipal corporation for additions to or expansions of aeronautical facilities operated jointly shall be and remain the sole property of the municipal corporation acquiring same.

(i) For the purpose of providing funds for necessary expenditures in carrying out the provisions of this section, a joint fund shall be created and maintained, into which each of the municipalities involved shall deposit its proportionate share as provided by the joint agreement, and into which shall be paid the revenues obtained from the ownership, control and operation of the airports and other air navigation facilities jointly controlled.

(j) All disbursements from such fund shall be made by order of the board, subject, however, to such limitations as shall be contained in the agreement between such municipalities.

(k) Specific performance of the provisions of any joint agreement entered into as provided for in this section may be enforced as against any party thereto by the other party or parties thereto.

(l) In the event any property is now held or may hereafter be acquired by two or more municipalities for aeronautical purposes, and such municipalities do not agree upon the terms of an agreement, as heretofore provided, and shall not agree to create a board as heretofore provided, then and in that event a board of not less than five nor more than seven members shall be created from the inhabitants of such municipalities, each municipality being entitled to appoint as nearly as possible the proportionate number of representatives on said board as the value of its contribution shall bear to the entire amount of money or property so held by such municipalities for aeronautical purposes. In determining the value of the contribution of any municipality, the value of any funds or property used for the development of said property or the building of facilities on said property shall be taken into consideration.

(m) The said board shall have all powers given by this Article to boards created by agreements between municipalities, provided, however, that any funds appropriated by a municipality and turned over to the board for aeronautical purposes shall only be used for these purposes designated by the municipality furnishing such funds.

(n) The actions of such board shall be determined by a majority vote of the members thereof, and a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for any meeting of the board, and such boards so created shall have full control of all revenues received by reason of the airport or other aeronautical facilities, and shall have power to expend all sums so received for such aeronautical purposes as the board deems proper, and pay over any surplus to municipalities in proportion to their respective interests.

(o) In the event the aeronautical facilities or any part thereof shall cease to be used for aeronautical purposes, such of the facilities as are jointly owned by two or more municipalities shall be sold, and each municipality shall receive its pro rata proportion of the sums realized from the sale of facilities jointly owned.

(p) In the event aeronautical facilities are now owned or hereafter acquired by two or more municipalities, and are operated under a board as hereinabove provided, and one or more of such municipalities deem it advisable to expand or enlarge the facilities or invest more money in such facilities, all of the municipalities then having representation on the board shall be entitled, if they so desire, to contribute their pro rata part of such additional investment and maintain their pro rata representation on said board, provided, however, that if one or more of the municipalities involved shall fail to contribute its or their proportionate part of such additional investment, the representation of such municipality on such board shall be readjusted, to the end that the representation of each municipality on said board shall represent as nearly as possible its pro rata contribution to the entire investment.

Provided further that where one municipality at the time of the passage of this Article shall have invested more than one half of the total investment in a jointly owned airport, then, and in that event the minority owner or owners shall be allowed five years from the date of the passage of this Article in which to pay over to the majority owner a sum sufficient to equalize the amount of ownership of the present minority owner or owners with the total ownership of the majority owner. Provided further that this Article shall not be construed to amend or impair in any respect contracts or agreements in effect at the time of the adoption of this Article.

(q) In the case of an airport board or commission authorized by agreement between two cities, as defined in G.S. 160A-1(2), pursuant to this section, one of which is located partially but not wholly in the county in which the jointly owned airport is located, and where the board or commission provided water and wastewater services off the airport premises before January 1, 1995, the board or commission shall have the authority to acquire, construct, establish, enlarge, improve, maintain, own, operate and contract for the operation of water supply and distribution systems and wastewater collection, treatment and disposal systems of all types, on and off the airport premises. In no event, however, shall such a board or commission be held liable for damages to those off the airport premises for failure to provide such water or wastewater services. (1945, c. 490, s. 9; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 644, s. 1.)