Saturday, March 10, 2007

RegionsAir grounded by FAA

Regions AirPrivately owned RegionsAir, Inc., which has been operating as American Connection out of St. Louis and Continental Connection out of Cleveland, shut down its operations several days ago. According to a news report in the Southeast Missourian, the FAA grounded the RegionsAir fleet, citing inadequate training for line check airmen. The article quoted an FAA spokeswoman who said, "We determined that the line check airmen, the pilots who instruct and check out other pilots, were not properly trained themselves."

RegionsAir spokesman Nathan Vallier said he has no idea when operations will resume and is still in the dark about why the most recent shutdown occurred.
"I can tell you that the FAA conducted no line check on our operations during last week. They did not send inspectors for pilots, so what are they basing this on? You'd have to ask them," he said.
A notice on the RegionsAir website says simply that they have "ceased scheduled operations" and that "all aircraft and crew have been repositioned to the Smyrna, Tennessee headquarters."
"We are going to continue our dialogue with the FAA and resolve the issues brought forward," says Nathan Vallier, Director of Sales & Marketing, "but for the time being we are suspending scheduled operations until further notice. We plan on making any revisions to our Line Check Airman Certification & Training program so that we can return to the skies."
Meanwhile, several of the communities served by RegionsAir are completely without commercial air service. RegionsAir ground personnel at those smaller airports have been furloughed indefinitely.