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Great Lakes faces FAA fines over safety

12/9/2013

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

Great Lakes Airlines might be fined $304,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration for safety violations.

Allen Kenitzer, northwest regional spokesman with the FAA, said Hays Regional Airport's carrier allegedly sprayed de-icing fluid that was too hot onto 19 flights in January 2011.

Temperatures reached more than 180 degrees, and Great Lakes' manual states that can damage aircraft.

The FAA could meet with the carrier in December, but there is no timeline set for a decision.

Great Lakes will have an opportunity to present its case. Great Lakes did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Bob Johnson, airport manager, said FAA investigations last up to two years before they are published. The airport does not have a role in the investigation.

The accusations come as the U.S. Department of Transportation collects bids for the airport's new carrier contract that starts in May. The deadline to submit proposals is today.

The city solicited SkyWest Airlines to bid on the contract.

Last week, the carrier requested the DOT delay the deadline by a week so it could submit a bid.

The DOT takes between a month and two months to finalize the contract.