Landing mishap at NYC airport during snowstorm raises questions on runway closures

Associated Press

The rough landing of a Delta jetliner at LaGuardia Airport in a driving snowstorm has raised questions about when airports should close runways due to snow or ice.

Six people were hurt when the plane skidded off a runaway Thursday and crashed through a chain-link fence, its nose coming to rest just feet from an icy bay.

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Officials say the runway had been plowed minutes before, and two other pilots had reported good braking conditions.

There's no rule about how much snow or ice leads to a runway closing. Instead, the FAA requires airports to measure runways during winter storms to assure planes can brake safely.

As passenger Jane Kaufman, of Gainesville, Florida, walked across the snow-covered runway she said she wondered, "Who decided it was safe to land here?"