The FAA and Cleveland Hopkins Airport just settled a $735,000 fine with the City of Cleveland, negotiating it down to $200,000.
The Feds hammered the airport after finding violations with the runway's staffing during winter storms after our Scott Taylor uncovered the safety issue 14 months ago.
Interim Airport Director Fred Szabo now admits they had issues with getting the right number of workers to clear snow and ice off of runways.
Fred Szabo says "I would maintain that we always operated the airport in a safe environment. We did have some technical violations but those have been cured. We did have a full staff this year and we will in the future."
The FAA found Hopkins had understaffed runways 19 times. In one incident they were missing 11 workers.
Hopkins has agreed to several major changes including:
pay the $200,000 in the next 30 days
maintain staffing and report to the FAA twice year
document staffing numbers
new snow removal equipment by 2019
Fred Szabo says "What we have done this year and in the future... we have a minimum staffing regardless of the conditions and we are going to be fully staffed to accommodate any type of snowfall."
If Hopkins messes up again on snow or ice removal the FAA will order them to pay the entire $735,000 fine.