Unsafe Chicago O’Hare Runway Prompts $1.57 Million FAA Fine

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The federal government proposed a $1.57 million fine on the city of Chicago after officials at O’Hare International Airport failed to follow safety procedures before a regional jet skidded off a snowy runway and damaged its landing gear.

The Chicago Department of Aviation didn’t follow its plan for snowy and icy conditions last Nov. 11, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday. Numerous crews on airliners had reported trouble braking after landing, at which time landings should have been limited and other safety actions taken, the FAA said in a press release.

An Envoy Air Inc. jet with 41 people aboard went into a skid shortly after the earlier pilots reported difficulties in stopping, according to the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board. No one was hurt.

The FAA had previously warned the city about similar violations at O’Hare in 2015 and 2016, the agency said. The city has 30 days to respond to the charges and can dispute the findings.

Chicago’s aviation department doesn’t agree with the findings and intends to contest them, spokesman Matthew McGrath said in an email.

“CDA has no higher priority than the safety and security of our airports, full stop,” McGrath said. The department was in close contact with FAA air-traffic controllers and airlines on the day of the accident and has cooperated in the investigation, he said.

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