Last updated: 03:28 PM ET, Mon September 21 2015

Cleveland Faces Hefty Fine from FAA Due to Poor Winter Conditions

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | September 21, 2015

Cleveland Faces Hefty Fine from FAA Due to Poor Winter Conditions

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The city of Cleveland was fined $735,000 Friday by the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to properly clear its runways and taxiways of snow and ice on multiple occasions over the last two years.

In a report from John Newsome of, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport was investigated on several different occasions by the FAA in response to safety violations at the facility since 2013.

The investigations resulted in the discovery of multiple scary incidents that were caused by the unacceptable winter conditions at the airport. One of the most terrifying incidents uncovered was that of an airport safety vehicle that allegedly slipped on ice and into the path of an aircraft that had already started its takeoff.

The FAA also reported an incident that took place in March 2015 where icy conditions at the airport restricted an airplane from leaving the runway, forcing air traffic control to cancel a takeoff clearance and ask another flight to circle the facility until the plane was taxied away.

Planes getting stuck on taxiways at Hopkins Airport were allegedly a common occurrence during the two years being investigated by the FAA. Pilots reported unsafe braking conditions on at least three separate occasions, including in February 2014 when the airport was closed temporarily due to “poor to nonexistent" braking conditions.

In order to avoid similar incident in the future, FAA officials have been working together with airport management to properly plan for potential storms and avoid staffing issues that plagued the facility in the past.

Cleveland officials have received the notice from the FAA, according to, and lawyers are reviewing the documents before releasing a statement.

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