Colgan Charged with Rest Rule Violations

 - April 1, 2012, 1:40 AM

The FAA proposed levying a civil penalty of $153,000 on Colgan Air last month for allegedly operating 17 flights without giving pilots or flight attendants the required minimum amount of rest.

The FAA alleges that between June 14, 2008, and Feb. 23, 2009, Colgan scheduled flight duty time for two captains, two first officers and six flight attendants on a seventh day after they had worked for the previous six consecutive days. FAA regulations required the airline to relieve each crewmember from duty for at least 24 consecutive hours during any seven consecutive calendar days. One of the captains operated four flights without adequate rest; each of the other flight crewmembers operated one flight without meeting the requirement, said the FAA.

The agency also claims that Colgan failed to give three flight attendants a required scheduled rest period of at least eight consecutive hours after scheduling them on flights after their previous duty period. Two of the incidents in question took place on June 15, 2008, and the third allegedly happened on Sept. 16, 2008. Finally, the FAA alleges that Colgan scheduled a first officer for flight time on Nov. 7, 2008, when the pilot’s total flight time in commercial flying exceeded eight hours between required rest periods.

This civil penalty involves alleged violations predating the FAA’s new pilot flight, duty and rest rules announced in December. The new regulations go into effect in December 2013. Colgan had 30 days to respond to the allegations. Colgan’s parent company, Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines, said it plans to contest the ruling.

“The proposed fine is based on actions that occurred more than three years ago. We believe we complied with all applicable duty and rest rules and will respond accordingly,” Pinnacle said in a written statement. “We have worked closely with the FAA as we have revised our safety programs and have invested heavily above and beyond FAA requirements on both personnel and resources to facilitate new programs. Colgan remains in compliance with these requirements. Safety is the top priority at Colgan. We intend to cooperate with the FAA and will respond to the allegations per their process and believe these proposed fines should be reduced or eliminated.” G.P.