FAA Fines Port Authority for Safety Violations

 - April 29, 2013, 2:30 PM

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has agreed to pay the FAA $3.5 million in fines for numerous violations of airport rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) standards that occurred between December 2010 and June 2012 at John F. Kennedy (JFK), Teterboro (TEB), La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR) airports.

The FAA levied the fines because the Port Authority made ARFF personnel handle additional police duties at work and because ARFF personnel had no established fire chief or facility captains assigned. The FAA wants the authority to develop, before year-end, a plan for providing at least 75 hours of initial ARFF training, as well as 40 hours of annual recurrent training.

ARFF personnel will be assigned 12-hour shifts, and the authority will also be responsible for amending certification manuals so that all four airports develop better record-keeping processes to track all the new guidelines.

The FAA now expects the Port Authority to conduct monthly audits to ensure there are no more violations. The FAA first became aware of the violations during a regular annual airport certification study conducted at JFK in December 2011.