FAA Insists on SWA Paying Fine and Penalizes AA

 - August 20, 2008, 12:12 PM

In a move that makes it look as though the FAA is combing through old logbooks to find ways to conduct enforcement actions on commercial operators, the agency on August 14 assessed $7.1 million in civil penalties against American Airlines. Earlier this year, the FAA requested a record $10.2 million for maintenance violations at Southwest Airlines, and the FAA recently said that it would not reduce that amount. The American Airlines penalties result from alleged drug and alcohol testing and escape path lighting inspection deficiencies and improperly deferred maintenance on safety-related equipment. Two specific problems had to do with American mechanics deferring maintenance using the incorrect minimum equipment list reference. The escape path lighting wasn’t inspected in a timely fashion, according to the FAA, and American operated many flights without having complied with the inspections. “We do not agree with the FAA’s findings and characterizations of American’s action in these cases,” the airline said. “We believe the proposed penalties are excessive.”