Boeing Co. has entered into secretive talks about land controlled by Charleston International Airport, where the aerospace giant already leases a large parcel for its 787 manufacturing campus.
A Charleston County Aviation Authority committee met behind closed doors in downtown Charleston on Friday with a local Boeing staff attorney to discuss contractual matters involving real estate.
The Development Committee meeting included Boeing lawyer Mark Fava and lasted about 45 minutes. No action was taken.
State Rep. Chip Limehouse, who is chairman of the airport board, declined to say what the committee discussed with Fava. Airports director Sue Stevens also would not comment afterward.
The company said in a statement Friday that it does not "comment on potential pending or future transactions."
"Boeing continually reviews its real estate portfolio as part of our due diligence to ensure proper stewardship of company assets and maintain our competitiveness," it said. "As a result, we regularly develop scenarios and evaluate options for real property to ensure we maintain the right mix of office and manufacturing space to meet the needs of our commercial and military business."
The morning meeting was held at Limehouse's business office on Cumberland Street.
It was called by Aviation Authority member Elliott Summey, Limehouse said. Summey, who is a member of Charleston County Council, did not attend.
Summey said Friday that he and other airport board members are under a nondisclosure agreement with Boeing and could not discuss any of the company's plans.
Boeing assembles the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet at its sprawling campus at the airport, where it has about 5,000 employees.
The company has reviewed its future real estate needs at least once before. The last time involved the S.C. Research Authority, which occupies a group of buildings that is almost surrounded by the aircraft maker. In September 2010, the Research Authority received approval to assign its land lease with the airport to Boeing.
SCRA chief executive Bill Mahoney said he had not been notified of Friday's meeting. He said the transfer of the lease would likely only happen after Boeing significantly ramps up production in North Charleston.
The entire Charleston International site encompasses about 1,300 acres. Of that, Boeing leases 267 acres, and airport operations accounts for about 383 acres, Beaman said.
The Aviation Authority has about 650 acres of undeveloped land on the opposite side of International Boulevard from Boeing's campus, said airport spokeswoman Becky Beaman. That property straddles Michaux Parkway, which has been considered for realignment to relieve congestion on International.
Friday's committee meeting was unusual in that it was not held in the board room at Charleston International.
After becoming chairman in 2010, Limehouse said he would like to rotate meetings around the county.
Also unusual was that The Post and Courier was not notified in advance of the meeting, as it usually is via email. The airport blamed that on a clerical oversight. The Aviation Authority did publish a legal notice about the meeting in The Post and Courier on Thursday.