Snow pile in Portland, Maine is nearing the Federal Aviation Administration's height limit
Thursday, February 19, 2015, 4:47 PM - Officials in Portland, Maine have been forced to open a second primary snow dump after the first pile nearly breached the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) height limit.
If the pile were to climb any higher and breach FAA height guidelines, it could "send a signal that there is some sort of structure there and it could affect [an airplane's] instrumentation as they land and possibly even take off as well," Portland Public Services Director Mike Bobinsky told an ABC News affiliate.
Paul Bradbury, director of a jetport near the snow pile, says the height limits are set up to ensure smaller planes have adequate clearance. While it's rare for a snow pile to interfere with air traffic, Bradbury says it has happened in the past.
The piles usually aren't an issue because melting typically occurs in between storms -- but this year, bitterly cold February temperatures have prevented that from happening.
To make matters worse, Portland has seen significant snow fall this winter.
A parade of storms has brought nearly 150 cm to the city so far, with more on the way.
The FAA requires obstructions close to jetports to be a maximum of 56 feet high.
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