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Tribune: FAA Nails O'Hare On Safety Violations

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 24, 2009 2:00PM

Photo by Skelly B
The Federal Aviation Administration discovered a litany of safety violations in a recent routine inspection of O'Hare International Airport, the Tribune reports today. The FAA sent a "letter of notice" to O'Hare officials which also called out the Chicago Department of Aviation. According to the Trib:

An object as small as a stone on a runway can pose a danger to flight by being ingested into aircraft jet turbines or piercing a fuel tank and sparking an explosion and fire.

Yet FAA inspectors found rocks, garbage and wood survey stakes used during construction on runways and taxiways at O'Hare...

The problems at O'Hare the FAA cited in its warning notice are considered major violations -- not just housekeeping issues -- because airfields are supposed to be sterile environments free of debris and other hazards that could interfere with flights.

Other violations included workers driving vehicles they weren't fully trained to operate and incorrect inspection reports. Karen Pride, spokeswoman for the Aviation Department, told the Trib many of the violations have already been cleared up but that remaining violations will be cleared by the end of November.