- Associated Press - Friday, August 12, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Juneau International Airport has shut down its lavatory dump station after officials determined it violated federal code during a surprise inspection that may result in the airport having to build an entirely new facility.

The dumpsite is where onboard lavatories are emptied from Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines aircraft. An inspector from the Food and Drug Administration visited the site last week and found five violations, including an uncapped waste hose and a small amount of lavatory fluid residue near the station.

The airport has already remedied those problems during the closure, but the other violations require more than a quick fix.

The airport was also cited for its lack of a wash-down hose and hand-washing station as well as a crack in the concrete foundation of the dumpsite. These violations may result in the airport having to build a new lavatory dump station, according to airport manager Patty Wahto and Superintendent of Operations Scott Rinkenberger.

Rinkenberger said he did not have a time frame for when the airport would have a new dumpsite. The “planning stage” has just begun, he told the Juneau Empire (https://bit.ly/2blVdZj).

Wahto said she and her staff are used to surprise inspections, but that Friday’s dump station inspection by the FDA really caught her off guard.

“Quite frankly, this has been there for years and years and years,” Wahto said. “In the myriad of alphabet-soup agencies we work with, the FDA wasn’t even on my radar.”

FDA Spokeswoman Lauren Sucher said there is a reason why the agency doesn’t provide information about inspection dates or frequency.

“Just like a pop quiz in grade school, if you know there’s a pop quiz, it’s not as effective,” Sucher said.

While the airport facility remains closed, planes with full lavatory tanks are having their waste transported to a city-owned septic dump station near a skate park.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com


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