Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Says It's Ready for Snow

Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport showed off its snow removal trucks on Friday.
Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport showed off its snow removal trucks on Friday. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
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by Nick Castele

The interim director of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport says his team is prepared for the winter snow season, speaking at a news conference six months after the city agreed to improve its snow-removal procedures and pay a fine to the federal government.

Last year the FAA proposed a fine of $735,000, saying the airport failed on several occasions to keep runways and taxiways clear of snow and ice. Cleveland later agreed to pay $200,000.

Interim airport director Fred Szabo said Hopkins is no longer staffing its snow-removal crew based on the forecast, but will be ready to go regardless of how many inches are predicted.

“We ended up getting caught on a number of occasions where we didn’t have sufficient people,” Szabo said. “Now, if there’s any hint of snow, we’re fully staffed. And again, thanks to the partnership with the FAA, they gave us federal money so we could purchase new snow removal equipment.”

He said the airport purchased 19 new vehicles in 2015 and 2016, and will have a storage facility built for them by next season.

The airport rolled out its fleet of snowplows and snowblower trucks for a dry run in 65-degree temperatures Friday morning.

Hopkins staff will have a chance to be on the ready soon. There are snow showers expected this weekend. 

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