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Cleveland Hopkins Reaches Agreement with FAA

Fred Szabo, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Interim Director, talking about FAA's $200,000 fine (Darrielle Snipes/ideastream)

The city of Cleveland and the Federal Aviation Administration have reached an agreement to improve the snow removal plan at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

One of the 22 changes to the airport’s snow removal plan includes keeping a minimum of 32 employees on duty regardless of the amount of snow predicted, says interim director Fred Szabo.

In September, a 15-month FAA investigation concluded the city should be fined a $ 735,000 civil penalty for failing to meet requirements for maintaining a safe airport during the winter.

The FAA agreed a $200,000 fine and waive the rest  if the city agreed to replace equipment, increase staff, improve the snow removal procedure and submit a report twice a year through 2020.

Szabo says some of the changes are already in place.

"The city has accomplished and agreed to maintain full snow team staffing, as we did during this past snow season, and we agree to do so into the future,” said Szabo.  “The airport has already purchased new snow removal equipment and vehicles and have committed to a multi-year plan to add new vehicles each year.”

Szabo says the fine will be paid in the next 30 days with the money coming out of the airport's operating budget.