Need for FAA voluntary SMS at Sioux Gateway Airport?

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FAA finds number of airport safety violations

SMS designed to systematically identify those risks

SUX President promise of “not again” by SMS

The City of Sioux City is paying a substantial fine for 2019 safety violations found during an FAA inspection. The President of Airport Board of Trustees declared that the underlying failures will never happen again. That pronouncement of safety culture for the Sioux City Gateway Airport – Brigadier General Bud Day Field (SUX)– is an important statement, but given the multi-faceted nature of safety for such a facility, the goal needs to be supported by Safety Management Systems, a voluntary program for airports.

FAA SMS airports office

Airport safety is a complex and dynamic goal. The airfield is typically large, divided into runways, taxiways, terminal(s), hangar(s), navigational equipment, and landside facilities. Each division has a set of different safety requirements which demand constant surveillance reinforced by well-defined processes. Such a discipline is the foundation of SMS.




The FAA 2018-2019 findings of SUX’s deficiencies show the need of systematic attention to detail:

RSA“…inspectors found the airport did not properly grade the Safety Areas for both runways to eliminate hazardous ruts, depressions or other surface variations.

… alleges the runway and taxiway markings were not properly maintained and that wind indicators were faded, making them difficult to see.

Runway sign and marking

.. two taxiways were not properly marked, and one not properly maintained, creating potentially hazardous debris.

Airport Director Mike Collett says his staff is working to correct the deficiencies and develop a corrective action plan to eli

airport sms

minate those issues for the future.



The list may appear to be short and just details, but what may seem insignificant, runway safety area (RSA) or runway end safety area (RESA) for example, really matter. SMS creates a ubiquitous  microscope which searches and prioritizes risks. SUX’s installation of this state-of-the-art safety risk reduction regimen might fulfill the promise of Dave Bernstein, the President of Airport Board of Trustees that “it cannot happen again.”

SUX entrance sign









Sioux City to pay $70,000 fine for airport safety violations



Posted: Feb 19, 2021 / 06:50 PM CST Updated: Feb 19, 2021 / 06:50 PM CST

SUX fine

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The city of Sioux City will pay more than $70,00 in fines to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA cited a 2019 inspection at Sioux Gateway Airport that found safety violations. The report said that the airport failed to maintain taxiway and runway surfaces and markings.

The original fine was more than $145,000 but was decreased after the facility addressed the complaints.

“I mean, this can never happen again, it should have never had happened in the first place. All we can do and what we’ve been doing for close to a year now is address the short comings that we have and we’re part way through that. We’re going to continue to address the short comings we have here, things are a lot different here than they were a year ago. And we’ll just continue to work on those improvements because it cannot happen again.” said Dave Bernstein, the President of Airport Board of Trustees.

SUX Dave Bernstein, president Sioux Gateway Airport Board of Trustees,

The Sioux City  Council will officially approve the funds to  the $70,000 fine during Monday’s council meeting.

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