CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Things are looking up at Hopkins, the FAA fine lowered, remodeling nearly done, and in the next five years a $24 million dollar investment in equipment. Most of it paid for by the Federal government. The money is part of a negotiation with the FAA that lowered the fines.
Airport leaders explained using a new animation, going step by step through four incidents that resulted in letters of investigation and the fines.
- Dec. 30, 2013 - A Delta flight carrying only the crew landed. Because it was nearly empty it slowed quickly and the pilot began to turn onto a taxiway. But it hadn't been treated as others farther down had and was icy. There was a brief skid. The problem is the pilot hadn't been told to go farther down.
- Jan. 18, 2014 - An airport fire truck was on the field training. The driver didn't ask for clearance to cross a runway and had a close call with an outgoing jet. The truck went 176 feet beyond the hold bar he was 7 feet short of the end of the runway. He hit the brakes hard, there was no ice and was able to stop.
- Jan. 25, 2014 - A UPS plane was told the runway was in fair condition. After landing the pilot reported at the end of the runway it was poor, and later said nil or no braking. The runway was closed and an incoming flight diverted.
- On March 1, 2015 - A pilot landed and reported good conditions but appeared to be confused as to where to turn off. He stopped on the runway forcing an outbound jet to stop, and an incoming jet to be told not to land and "go around". Then the pilot changed his story and said there was no braking.
"I'm being very cautious not to question pilots but I think in this instance you're going to see a pilots decision that kind of played into the end result," says Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Interim Director Fred Szabo.
Three of the four incidents required runway closings but were not serious. The fourth, the close call with the fire truck certainly was serious.
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