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FAA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Reach Agreement on Airport Safety Violations

For Immediate Release
April 8, 2013

Contact: Marcia Alexander-Adams

Phone: (202) 267-3883

WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) have reached a settlement agreement about aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF)  violations from December 2010 to June 2012 at four New York area airports owned and operated by the PANYNJ — John F. Kennedy, Teterboro, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International.

“We expect all airports to comply with our safety regulations and to correct any deficiencies immediately,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “These violations were egregious, and they will not be tolerated.”

Under the agreement, the PANYNJ agrees to pay a $3.5 million fine within 30 days. If there is a violation of the settlement agreement, the FAA will impose an additional fine of $1.5 million and will assess an additional $27,500 daily for each violation.  In addition to the fine, the PANYNJ has agreed to take the following actions, with FAA approval, to address the underlying problems that led to systemic noncompliance with ARFF requirements at the four airports:

“We expect the Port Authority to have trained safety personnel to ensure the safety of the travelling public and airport personnel, just like we have at all airports in the United States,” said FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta.

The FAA became aware of ARFF violations as a result of an annual airport certification safety inspection of JFK in December 2011. The FAA also discovered similar violations at Teterboro, which prompted a full review of training at LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International, and Stewart International Airports. The review of ARFF training revealed violations at LaGuardia and Newark, with no violations at Stewart.

The FAA believes the settlement agreement provides the best long-term solution to ensure ARFF compliance, given the systemic nature of the PANYNJ airport problems.

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