DFW Airport Board has exclusive power to pass alternative energy cab resolution says Dallas Court of Appeals


Dallas/FortWorth International Airport Board v. Association of Taxicab Operators, 05-12-00777-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas, April 4, 2014).

The holdings in this case are mostly likely persuasive in nature since there are not too many joint municipal airports run by large cities like Dallas and Fort Worth.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board (“DFW”) appealed a trial court order which voided a resolution of the DFW Board giving head-of-the-line privileges to alternative energy cabs and awarded attorney’s fees to the Association of Taxicab Operations (“Association”).

Chapter 22 of the Texas Transportation Code gives two grants of authority for the operation of an airport. The first grants the governing body the authority to pass resolutions “necessary to manage, govern, and use” and airport. The Association argued this provision applies to DFW and since it is not necessary to manage or use the airport, the resolution is void. The second grant of authority applies to a “joint board” and permits a joint board to “plan, acquire, establish, construct, improve, equip, maintain, operate, regulate, protect, and police an airport.”  The Dallas Court of Appeals held the “joint board” grant governs DFW.  It also noted that DFW Board is not a “typical board” since its creating members are populous home-rule cities, which are given “exclusive power” to operate the airport under §22.074.  As a result, it is not required to obtain approval from its founding cities before adopting a resolution, which is required under the first grant of authority only authorizing actions to manage, govern, or use the airport. After analyzing the term “operate” the airport, it determined the resolution must stand and the trial court abused its discretion.

If you would like to read this opinion click here. Panel: Justices Moseley, Lang, and Francis. Opinion by Justice Moseley.  The attorneys listed for DFW are Scott A. Brister, Gavin B. Justiss, Jerry L. Beane, Mark Mutschink, and James Michael Stanton.  The attorneys listed for the Association are Kelly D. Hollingsworth and John Wiley Bryant .

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