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Sioux City Working To Fix Airport Issues After FAA Hands Down $145,000 Penalty

The FAA has proposed a fine of more than $145,000 against the Sioux Gateway Airport.

Sioux City officials say they are working to correct several problems at the local airport, after the Federal Aviation Administration lobbed a hefty fine against it.
The FAA has proposed a fine of more than $145,000 against the Sioux Gateway Airport. Federal officials say they inspected the airport three times from 2018 through 2019. In May 2018 and June 2019, inspectors found runway safety areas were not properly graded. The federal agency also claims the airport did not properly take care of markings on its runways and taxiways and they “lacked proper lighting.” On a third construction inspection in September 2019, inspectors found two taxiways were not marked up to standard and one was not correctly maintained, which creates potentially hazards, the agency said.

In a statement, Sioux City officials said they are working to fix these “deficiencies” and are working on a plan so these do not happen again.

“As a result, steps are being undertaken to ensure that future inspections meet the expectations of the FAA,” the city said.

The FAA said Tuesday Sioux City has 30 days to respond after receiving notice. A spokesperson for the FAA said in an email “the two parties have been in communication throughout the process.” The city’s airport director did not respond to a request for further comment.

The FAA releases quarterly reports detailing the penalties it enforced. A report for this quarter is not available yet, but Sioux City's fine appears to be larger than any other fine the FAA has handed down in the previous three quarters for this year.

Katie Peikes was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio from 2018 to 2023. She joined IPR as its first-ever Western Iowa reporter, and then served as the agricultural reporter.