The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $145,452 civil penalty against the Sioux Gateway Airport for numerous alleged safety violations at the Iowa airfield.

The FAA inspected Sioux Gateway Airport in May 2018, June 2019 and September 2019 and says there were violations each time, including failure to maintain surfaces, runway and taxiway markings, and visual wind direction indicators.

City Manager Bob Padmore says the city is disappointed with the report and that reconstruction of the runways has been underway for several months.

“I don’t know if the inspection took that into account. My understanding is some of these deficiencies were unrelated to the construction,”Padmore says. “The city is committed and has been since that inspection time to address those deficiencies and correct them. We are also taking a long term look at what we need to do to prevent that from happening going forward.”

The FAA report states that in 2018 and June 2019, inspectors found the airport did not properly grade the Safety Areas for both runways to eliminate hazardous ruts, depressions or other surface variations. The report also alleges the runway and taxiway markings were not properly maintained and that wind indicators were faded, making them difficult to see.

Padmore assures air passengers using Sioux Gateway that the airport will be safe. “The safety of our airport is paramount to — not only our community — but the members who work at the airport. And we will do everything we can to make sure it is a safe well-run airport,” he says.

The FAA says two taxiways were not properly marked in the September 2019 construction inspection, and one not properly maintained, creating potentially hazardous debris. Padmore again says safety of passengers and planes is the top priority.
“We’ve had maintenance issues — but not related to the safety of planes coming and going to the airport. We’re committed to maintaining a very safe airport,” according to Padmore.

Airport Director Mike Collett says his staff is working to correct the deficiencies and develop a corrective action plan to eliminate those issues for the future.

(Story and photo by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)