The City of Cleveland WILL NOT Collect Waste on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, Monday, January 16, 2017

January 11, 2017

The City of Cleveland Department of Public Works WILL NOT pick-up waste collection on Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.  There will be a one day delay in trash collection during that week.

Regularly scheduled trash pick-up will resume on Monday, January 23, 2017.

For further information regarding waste collection, please call Cleveland’s Division of Waste Collection at (216) 664-3711.

Recovery Operations Update # 21

Recovery Operations Update # 21

January 11, 2017 @ 5:00 p.m.

Crews and divers are still out on the water. Several significant pieces of debris were recovered today from the water efforts.

City officials will hold a press conference tomorrow, early afternoon, to discuss today’s recovery efforts.


Mayor Jackson Swears-in the Director and Assistant Director of Port Control

January 11, 2017

Today, in a Red Room ceremony held at Cleveland City Hall, Mayor Frank G. Jackson was joined by members of the Cabinet, along with family and friends of Mr. Robert Kennedy and Mr. Fred Szabo. Mr. Kennedy was sworn in as the Director of Port Control and Mr. Szabo as the Assistant Director of Port Control.

“Mr. Robert Kennedy has vast experience in the aviation business,” said Mayor Jackson. “He is highly qualified and understands the need to position Cleveland for growth regardless of how the rest of aviation industry is headed.”

“Fred Szabo did an outstanding job as Interim Director of Port Control and in his position he will be of great support to the new Director of Port Control,” said Mayor Jackson.

Robert Kennedy

Mr. Robert Kennedy has been the Vice-President of Consulting Services for Aviation Strategies International responsible for providing airports and governments with corporate level strategic advice and consulting services since 2011.

He was also a lead instructor for the International Civil Aviation Organization – Airports Council International – Global Airport Management Professional Accreditation Program.

Previously Mr. Kennedy held several high level positions at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, including Interim Deputy General and General Manager of Operations, Maintenance, and Security, Director of Marketing and Business Development, and Director of Marketing, Public Relations, and Intergovernmental Affairs.

He was directly responsible for developing and implementing strategy for day to day operations, administration, planning, development for the world’s busiest airport with a budget of $150 million and more than 700 employees.

He is a member of the Georgia Free Trade Zone Board of Directors, the United Nations’ International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders, and the Airport Council International.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Alabama and is an Accredited Airport Executive, and Accredited International Airport Professional.

In addition he was trained in the Concordia University Airport Executive Leadership program, the Department of Homeland Security’s Incident Command System, and has private pilot license.

Mr. Fred Szabo

Mr. Fred Szabo has worked for the City of Cleveland since 1979 and for the past 16 years he has served as the Commissioner of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Fred was responsible for the hiring, training, and discipline of 380 airport employees whose work spans all daily airport operations including the implementation of Federal Security Directives.

He has opened the lines of communications between the airport, airlines, and tenants to address partnership issues, and implemented monthly security meetings with Airline Station Managers, law enforcement agencies, and members of the Transportation Security Agency

In addition he reorganized the operational structure of the airport since 9/11 in order to enhance delivery services without a budget increase and implemented Customer Services, Terminal Services, and Transportation Services Divisions.

Fred is a United States Army Veteran. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from Bowling Green State University, is a graduate of the FBI’s Citizen’s Academy, and is an affiliate member of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Recovery Operations Update # 20

Recovery Operations Update # 20

January 11, 2017 @ 12:00 p.m.

Crews aboard Underwater Marine Contractors’ 50-ft Salvage Chief and the Army Corps of Engineers’ 70-ft Donlon were on the water by 7:30 a.m. today.  Both vessels in use today are equipped with sonar that will be used to take images of the bottom of the lake and track divers. The US Coast Guard broke up ice in the harbor yesterday, hoping to make it easier for the vessels to get to the dive sites. Great Lakes Towing Company has an ice breaker on standby should it be needed today.

Divers entered the water just before 9:30 a.m. Crews have recovered additional debris from the aircraft today, some of which are larger pieces. Once the debris has been processed and the families have been notified, we will provide an update.

We ask that you continue to respect the family by only sharing information that has been confirmed.

Cleveland Division of Police will continue foot patrols and helicopter searches along the shoreline as weather conditions allow.

Anyone who sees debris along the shoreline that could be relevant to this investigation should report it to the Cleveland Division of Police non-emergency number: 216-621-1234. Please don’t touch the debris;  investigators will collect debris and investigate it to see if it is relevant to this investigation.

Press Conference Recovery Operations

Press Conference: Recovery Operations held January 10, 2017 @ 12:30 PM

Search and recovery operations did not take place today due to weather and water conditions. A press conference was held to discuss recovery efforts to date.  Full press conference here.


Left to right: Director of Public Safety Michael McGrath, Interim Director of Port Control Fred Szabo, Commissioner of Burke Khalid Bahhur, and Dr. Gilson


Left to right: Dr. Gilson, Medical Examiner, Commissioner of Burke Khalid Bahhur, Mayor Frank G. Jackson and Lt. Colonel Adam J. Czekanski, Army Corps of Engineers

Commissioner of Burke Lakefront Airport Khalid Bahhur started the update by thanking the crews involved for their tireless efforts and dedication. He stated, “Our continued focus remains on ensuring the families have the information they need to find closure in this tragedy.”

Dr. Thomas Gilson, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, provide an update about the remains collected on Friday, January 6, 2017. He stated, “I can confirm that the remains collected last Friday are of human origin and male gender.” He continued by stating, “DNA testing was used to discern this information and we are working with the families to provide more specific identification.” No more details will be provided regarding these findings.

One debris field, about the size of a football field, has been identified from sonar scans and use of other equipment. In this debris field, there are four dive sites. Divers enter the water in these areas to begin their searches and these are the areas in which we have had the most success with water recovery. Divers have minimal visibility and feel around underwater as they are guided by crews aboard the vessels tracking them with sonar. Once the debris is located and if it appears to belong to the aircraft, they extract it from the water and put it on the deck of the boat and return it to shore, where it is processed as evidence in a secured area.

Despite some difficulty with ice on the water yesterday, crews successfully recovered several pieces of debris from the aircraft. The Salvage Chief, Underwater Marine Contractors’ 50-ft vessel, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ tug boat, the 70-ft. Donlon, were able to recover several pieces that we now know belong to the aircraft, including:

  • Portions of the fuselage, the largest piece was approximately 20 feet long
  • An engine,
  • Several seats,
  • A wheel,
  • And the canopy and windows from the cockpit. This piece is approximately 8 feet long by 5 feet wide.

Crews hoist an engine out of the water. Photo Credit: Underwater Marine Contractors, Inc.

Throughout this investigation, we have collected more than 170 pieces of debris, including other pieces of the aircraft and personal items and clothing from the passengers.

Pending weather and water conditions, crews hope to continue recovery operations in the water tomorrow. Conditions may only provide search and recovery operations to continue for 1-3 more days this week. This determination will be made daily based on weather and water conditions.

None of these search and recovery operations would have been possible without a lot of help from a lot of people. The City of Cleveland wants to thank the following partner agencies for their assistance and commend all those who have respected the families and offered assistance with these efforts both on scene and behind the scenes.

The list is long but includes: Cleveland Fire, Police and EMS; Underwater Marine Contractors, Inc.; Cleveland Metroparks Rangers; Akron, Toledo and Brecksville Fire; New York State Police dive team; Ohio Department of Natural Resources; US Coast Guard; US Army Corps of Engineers; US Geological Survey; The NTSB and FAA and many other agencies. All have been tremendous partners and the City is very grateful for all that they continue to contribute to these efforts.