American Eagle faces FAA fines for hazmat violations

 - July 11, 2008, 6:25 AM

American Eagle executives planned to meet with FAA officials last month to discuss the Dallas-based airline’s alleged violations of hazardous-materials regulations. The FAA alleges that on one occasion in 2000 American Eagle transported an oxygen generator as cargo aboard a passenger flight. It also claims that Eagle improperly offered oxygen generators to Federal Express for shipment by air on seven separate occasions. The agency has proposed assessing a $900,000 fine against the airline.

In each instance, American Eagle tried to ship the hazardous materials without packaging, marking, classifying, describing or documenting the shipment in accordance with regulations, according to the FAA. The FAA said the airline also failed to train employees to properly package and handle hazardous materials, and did not make available at all times the required emergency response information.

“In the past year, American Eagle has throroughly reviewed and strengthened its training, inventory control and shipping procedures to prevent such incidents from happening again,” the airline said in a statement.

Investigators determined that oxygen generators sparked the cargo-hold fire that led to the 1996 crash of a ValuJet DC-9 in the Florida Everglades. American Eagle had until February 28 to respond formally to the allegations.