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Environment & Energy

Cleveland Hopkins Airport Prepares for Snow to Avoid Fines

photo of snow truck
WCPN

The director of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport says his team is prepared for the winter snow season. The Federal Aviation Administration fined the city last year, saying the airport failed on several occasions to keep runways clear of snow and ice. 

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

Last year the FAA proposed a fine of $735,000. Cleveland later agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and take steps to improve snow removal.

Interim Airport Director Fred Szabo says 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. 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,” Szabo said.

He says the airport has purchased 19 new vehicles over the past two years, and will have a storage facility built for them by next season. Hopkins staff will have a chance to be on the ready soon—there are snow showers expected this weekend.