NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — The FAA has urged Tennessee state legislators to hold off on plans to seize control of Nashville International Airport's board of directors until it can evaluate the move. The Republican-led state government has drafted a bill that would replace the current seven-member board, appointed by the mayor, with an eight-member board, with six members appointed by the State.

According to the Tennessee Lookout, the FAA has sent a letter to the airport's current CEO, stating its preference for local control of airports and the requirement for its approval for any non-consensual authority changes. The publication suggests that the proposed takeover is the State government's retaliation against the Nashville city council for preventing the 2024 Republican National Convention from taking place in the city.

The FAA's letter highlights the need to understand the effects of the governance change, including its impact on the airport's federal obligations, operations, and current financial arrangements. The State argues that the transition "will not change the ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations that would trigger the FAA's policy" and that the FAA should not interfere. 

However, it seems unlikely that the FAA will back down. The FAA claims it should have been included in the entire process but was never invited to participate. The bill was introduced on January 31 and has been approved by the State Senate, while it is currently in the committee hearing stage in the House.