Alaska Faces $1.6m FAA Penalty

Alaska Airlines may have to pay $1.6m to US authorities for breaches of Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) relating to maintenance of 737 aircraft.

Alaska Airlines may have to pay $1.6m to US authorities for breaches of Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) relating to maintenance of 737 aircraft.

The FAA has proposed that the carrier should pay two civil penalties for allegedly operating aircraft that did not comply with FAR.

In the first case, the regulator claims that in July 2011 Alaska’s maintenance personnel repaired a cracked engine thrust lever on a 737 with fasteners that obstructed the pilot’s access to a take-off/go-around button.

The repair was modified a week later but, according to the FAA, the button remained obstructed and the aircraft was flown on 549 flights before the control lever was replaced. 

The FAA has proposed a $700,000 civil penalty for this breach and a second $900,000 penalty for failures relating to testing a pulsing system for the external lights installed on 66 aircraft.

The regulator claims that the airline did not undertake required tests after installing systems to pulse external lights on 66 737s between 2010 and 2012.

The carrier activated the pulsing system on 59 of the 66 aircraft, but the FAA alleges that they were not airworthy because the testing to determine radio interference had not been done, on more than 48,000 flights.

Alaska Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond.

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