The FAA is continuing to highlight enforcement actions surrounding illegal charter, this time announcing a proposed $2.2 million civil penalty against Indy Jet Management and associated parties in Indiana for allegedly conducting illegal charter flights.
This latest proposed action follows an announcement earlier this month of a proposed $1.23 million in fines against five companies for alleged illegal operations. And the action is among a handful of such announcements the agency has made this year.
In Indy Jet Management’s case, the FAA alleges that a collective group of parties conducted 168 paid passenger-carrying flights in multiple Cessna Citations. The parties did not have the required FAA operating or air carrier certificates, conducted flights without the requisite operations specifications, and used unqualified pilots, the FAA is alleging.
Indy Jet Management was the lead party named as involved in the FAA case, but the agency listed a number of other responsible parties: GSA Investment, AirXL LLC, Excel 2 LLC, Excel 3 LLC, Excel 4 LLC, CJI LLC, Indy Bravo LLC, Bradley Cable, and Citation Management LLC. AirXL was the lead name of a lawsuit that was between the parties and the FAA over the investigation that spans back to 2013. Court documents mention it is sometimes referred to as Indy Jet and Citation Management.
Court documents suggest that the agency had initially investigated and sought thousands of pages of documents but for several years took no enforcement action, renewing it with another round of subpoenas beginning in 2017. AirXL said it believed that the requests were duplicative and burdensome given the thousands of documents already handed over and stretched beyond a statute of limitations for an ongoing investigation. But the FAA had argued that its investigation involved ongoing operations and the documents were necessary to drill down into the details. The courts sided with the FAA on the document requests.
The parties also disagreed over whether the FAA had suggested it could not enforce or was not ready to enforce the operations of AirXL and related parties. The investigation primarily surrounded the use of leases and whether the clients involved were aware of their operational control responsibilities.
When reached by AIN, the parties had no comment on the latest FAA action. The parties have 30 days to respond to their enforcement letters.