In its continuing campaign to combat illegal charter operations, the U.S. FAA has proposed a $576,400 civil penalty against Bluefin Aviation Services of Opa-Locka, Florida, alleging such activity. According to the agency, Bluefin allegedly conducted at least 26 illegal for-hire flights using a Cessna 402B piston twin in September and October 2019, transporting passengers or cargo between airports in Florida and the Bahamas.
“The flights were illegal because Bluefin did not hold an air carrier or operating certificate, or operations specifications issued by the FAA,” the agency alleged. Further, the FAA said the flight crew had not passed the requisite written or oral tests, nor had they completed competency checks and flight checks for such operations. “The flights were careless or reckless so as to endanger lives or property,” it added.
Bluefin Aviation was not available for comment at press time, but has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.
The proposed enforcement action is the latest in a series of actions the agency is taking to clamp down on illegal charter. Enforcement actions have been proposed against business jet, turboprop, and piston operators alike, including those which have conducted operations for major sports teams. These actions have accompanied community meetings and an education campaign.