19 Action News sources close to an
believe runways are being understaffed, which is putting planes and passengers at risk, especially when it snows. However, airport officials say that's not true.
"It's never been the case, where snow couldn't be cleared quick enough," said Hopkins Airport Commissioner Fred Szabo.
After our investigative reporter Scott Taylor did some digging, he discovered Hopkins is understaffing its runways during the winter months, according to an FAA agreement.
The FAA and Hopkins Airport Director Ricky Smith entered into a Snow Ice Control Plan for Hopkins, which provides the number of field maintenance employees required to be on duty removing snow and ice on runways. For instance, the plan calls for 26 field maintenance employees under a yellow snowfall code of greater than 1 to 4 inches.
"There wasn't an instance where we didn't have enough people to keep the runway safe," said Szabo.
However, on Jan. 5, 2015 under a yellow snowfall code, the airport only had 15 workers, not the FAA required 26.
"We fell underneath that number, but we did have sufficient staff," said Szabo.
On Jan. 6, 2015, there was another yellow code, yet only 15 workers.