FAA to investigate Port Authority after winter storm meltdown at JFK airport

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's actions at John ...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 9:44 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 9:44 AM

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's actions at John F. Kennedy International Airport during a winter storm that left the airport with hundreds of delayed and canceled flights and stranded travelers.

The weather-related cancellations and delays stacked up after the winter storm began on Thursday, January 4, and the problems continued throughout the weekend. The airport was closed for several hours on Thursday and reopened Friday with some delays and cancellations.

FAA plans to look into Port Authority handling of winter storm at JFK

Port Authority is conducting a separate internal investigation

Conditions worsened on Saturday, January 7, when what Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton described as "a serious breakdown" occurred between terminal operators and airlines. The two groups failed to communicate properly to ensure there were enough gates for all incoming and outgoing planes. Passengers reported being stuck on the tarmac for hours before they could deplane or their planes took off.

The FAA says it is investigating "to determine if the Port Authority was in compliance with Federal Aviation regulations which require prompt and timely removal of snow from all aircraft movement areas," according to a statement obtained by CNN.

The next day, a water main broke in Terminal 4, the major arrival point for international travelers, flooding it and causing it to close for several hours. Power was turned off in parts of the terminal, conveyer belts stopped working on some of the carousels, and the arrivals area was cordoned off while employees swept water off the floor. Weather is believed to have caused the break.

The Port Authority announced plans to conduct its own internal investigation on January 10, tapping former US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to lead the effort. LaHood plans to investigate "all phases of the event" including preparation ahead of the storm, recovery operations after the water main leak, and baggage handling, according to a Port Authority statement.

"The events that occurred at JFK Airport this month were completely unacceptable," Port Authority spokesperson Steve Coleman said in a statement. "We will completely cooperate with the FAA's inquiry."

The FAA has jurisdiction over commercial service airports, and the Port Authority runs John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, along with the other main New York City area airports, Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30342

Reported Deaths: 521
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6743129
Marion438789
Washington424158
Umatilla289541
Clackamas222661
Malheur149023
Jackson10213
Lane93314
Deschutes74612
Yamhill72614
Jefferson5058
Polk49315
Morrow4845
Lincoln47013
Linn45413
Union4352
Klamath2692
Benton2516
Hood River2410
Wasco2333
Douglas2003
Josephine1802
Columbia1481
Coos1360
Clatsop1090
Baker902
Crook601
Tillamook480
Lake290
Wallowa281
Curry260
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant80
Gilliam70
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 61°
Corvallis
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 59°
Roseburg
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 63°
North Bend
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 60°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events