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Statement regarding FAA Notice of Proposed Civil Penalty

News Releases
Nov 18
2015

Detroit, Mich. (November 18, 2015)--The Airport Authority has an excellent history of providing a safe and secure airfield at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and safety remains our number one priority.

During two extraordinary weather events in February 2014 and November 2014, there were certain deviations from the WCAA's Snow and Ice Control Plan.

The Authority has already addressed and corrected its procedures. Over the last two snow seasons, and for the next two years, the Authority has and will be adding $13 million worth of new or upgraded heavy snow and ice equipment. Detroit Metropolitan Airport has also added nine employees to our hard-working and professional maintenance team to address snow and ice control. Further, four new operations personnel and scheduling adjustments have been added to enhance airfield monitoring during these events.

The events that precipitated this investigation occurred in extraordinary circumstances.

For instance, in the November 22, 2014 event, prior to the precipitation, airport maintenance applied 9,700 gallons of liquid pavement de-icer and 24 tons of “hot” sand to the airfield between 3:30 and 6 a.m. yet the relentless subsequent ice storm created slippery conditions.

In the February 5, 2014 event, two regional jets became stuck in snow after turning onto untreated taxiways and one private Beechcraft pilot turned onto a Fire Access Road instead of a treated taxiway as he had been instructed by the control tower.

The Airport Authority is committed to working cooperatively among all of its departments, with its airline partners and the FAA to continue to fine-tune and improve winter weather procedures.

The FAA approved snow plan for this season was a collaborative effort among the FAA region, the control tower in Detroit and all airlines serving DTW.

Michael Conway
Erica Donerson
Director, Government and External Affairs
Wayne County Airport Authority