City to pay $200K to settle Hopkins fines

Posted at 10:57 AM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 13:49:45-04

The City of Cleveland has agreed to pay $200,000 and improve its airfield snow and ice removal plan as part of a settlement with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA announced Tuesday that the agency will waive the remaining balance of the $735,000 proposed civil penalty if the city meets the agreed upon conditions.

This comes eight months after the FAA fined Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport $735,000 for unsafe conditions during snowstorms. 

The FAA alleged that, over a 15-month period, the airport did not have proper staffing and de-icing equipment available during the storms, potentially putting passenger safety at risk.

For the FAA to waive the fines, the city must:

  • Maintain appropriate staffing numbers, with reports to the FAA twice each year, through 2020.
  • Document the staffing allocated per shift for each winter event.
  • Obtain new and replacement snow removal equipment by 2019. The FAA will review this plan every 12 months.
  • Construct a snow removal equipment storage building on or before December 31, 2017.
  • Develop specific requirements for executive management oversight in the airport’s Airport Certification Manual (Snow and Ice Control Plan).  Updates for these procedures must be made no later than October 1, 2016.

So far, according to the FAA, the city has made a number of improvements including:

  • Maintaining full staffing since Dec. 23, 2015
  • Updating staffing requirements
  • Coordinating a snow desk for major snow events

Weeks after the fines were announced, the City of Cleveland sent a letter to the FAAdisputing the claims of unsafe conditions, saying "the alleged violations [were] technical in nature and did not create an unsafe environment" at the airport.