FAA investigates after storm snarled flights at NYC's JFK

FeaturesAssociated Press

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it is investigating the actions of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey after a winter snowstorm caused major disruptions at Kennedy Airport earlier this month.

Its probe is focusing on a requirement regarding "prompt and timely removal of snow from all aircraft movement areas."

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The snowstorm created days of cancellations and delays at the airport on Jan. 4 and several days after. A burst pipe at the primary terminal for international flights on Jan. 7 also caused major headaches for air travelers.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said last week the primary problem appears to have been international airlines arriving without available gates at the international terminals.

Cotton has said what happened was "completely unacceptable."

Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico said the agency "will completely cooperate with the FAA's inquiry."

Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is conducting an investigation at the Port Authority's request, focusing on coordination between international airlines and privately operated terminals.

Sen. Charles Schumer said Monday he wants federal transportation officials to urge foreign airlines to work better with the operators of the airport. The Senate Democratic leader from New York wrote a letter to the Transportation Department, saying the department issues documents allowing foreign airlines to operate in the U.S.

He suggested that it "utilize that leverage" to encourage them to "develop more meaningful communication systems and contingency plans" with Kennedy's governmental and private operators.

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