Stop complaining, says FAA to American over record fine

THE record US$24.2 million fine levied against American Airlines (AA) for poor maintenance of its aircraft could have been more than 10 times as bad, says the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

AA was hit with the monster fine after the FAA consistently found maintenance procedures had not been properly followed since 2008. The aviation organisation said problems, which could have resulted in fires and potential fuel-tank explosion, had first been spotted in March, 2008. However, even after AA attempted to fix them the FAA declared 286 of the airline’s 300 MD-80s non-compliant.

“Essentially, American kept telling us the problem was fixed when it wasn’t,” said a FAA spokesperson.

AA has resolved to fight the fine, but the FAA says it could have been much worse.

“American made 14,278 flights with aircraft not in compliance. Every time an aircraft took off in violation it incurred a fine that could have been levied as high as $25,000 per event or potentially $356,950,000,” the spokesperson explained.

Generously, the FAA said: “After careful consideration of all available information, the FAA is willing to accept $24,201,000 in settlement of this matter.”

Andrea Huguely, a spokeswoman for AA, said: “These events happened more than two years ago and we believe this action is unwarranted. We are confident we have a strong case and the facts will bear this out.”

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