The U.S. FAA has proposed another enforcement action for illegal charter activity, this time a $1.5 million proposed civil penalty against B E L Aviation in Odessa, Texas. According to the agency, B E L Aviation allegedly conducted 114 unauthorized flights for hire in a Piaggio P-180 Avanti II between September 2016 and July 2108 throughout the U.S. and Mexico. B E L Aviation did not have an air carrier or air operator certificate when it conducted those flights, the agency added.
Calling the operations “careless or reckless,” the FAA additionally alleged that the pilot conducting the flights did not meet the training required for the flights in question. B E L Aviation, which was unavailable for comment, has 30 days to respond to the proposed enforcement action.
The proposed enforcement action is the latest in a series of actions the agency is taking as it steps up its efforts to clamp down on illegal charter. These include outreach to the aviation community along with the traveling public on what constitutes legal and illegal activity, as well as increasing enforcement. Just last month, the FAA issued an emergency revocation of the operating certificate of Paradigm Air Operators for allegedly conducting dozens of unauthorized charter flights, including for major sports teams.