Charter Broker, DOT Reach Enforcement Settlement
New York-based charter broker Blue Star Jets and the DOT on Monday reached a compromise settlement regarding the company’s alleged regulatory violations in connection with the February crash of a Challenger at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. The DOT said in its consent order that Blue Star Jets arranged the flight but failed to ensure, as it "explicitly promised," that the contracting charter operator–Platinum Jet Management–was a certified carrier. Platinum, which is facing a nearly $2 million fine for alleged FAR violations, had "no authority" to operate under Part 135, the DOT said. The agency also accused Blue Star Jets of "misrepresenting itself as an air carrier" and engaging in "unfair and deceptive" practices. To avoid litigation, and not having to admit to any violations, Blue Star Jets agreed to a $100,000 fine, of which $50,000 was to be paid immediately. The remaining $50,000 is suspended for 12 months and will be dropped entirely if the company continues to take corrective measures. For example, Blue Star Jets in August contracted with charter audit firm Wyvern Consulting to establish a "charter safety program."