FAA Assesses Penalties Against Southwest, Great Lakes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $325,000 civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for allegedly operating an aircraft that had been improperly modified. On August 29, 2011, the FAA alleges maintenance personnel improperly installed a switch that enables flight crews to test the windshield heating system on a 717 aircraft, which AirTran Airways was operating. Southwest has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s civil penalty letter to respond.

The FAA is also proposing a $304,000 civil penalty against Great Lakes Aviation in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for allegedly conducting 19 flights with aircraft that were not in compliance with FAA regulations. According to the FAA, Great Lakes operated the aircraft in conditions in which the carrier could reasonably expect frost, snow or ice to stick to the aircraft. Great Lakes Aviation has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

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