The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $1,567,968 civil penalty against the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) for allegedly failing to ensure safe airline operations during snowy and wet runway conditions.
The CDA’s Snow and Ice Control Plan requires the airport to take specific safety actions if two consecutive flight crews report poor braking action after landing. On November 11, 2019, at least two consecutive flight crews reported poor braking action three separate times after landing on Runway 10-Left at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
However, the FAA alleges that the CDA failed to limit operations on that runway, conduct a runway condition assessment, inform airlines about potentially unsafe conditions or limit operations to safe portions of the airport. The FAA says the CDA allowed a total of 43 aircraft to land on Runway 10-Left following the consecutive reports of poor braking action. One of those aircraft, Envoy Airlines Flight 4125, slid off the runway due to poor braking action.
The FAA previously issued a warning letter to the CDA in January 2017 concerning similar violations at O’Hare in 2015 and 2016.
The CDA has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.