Sunday, April 11, 2010

Darby Aviation's air carrier certificate suspended by the FAA

by B. N. Sullivan

FAA logoThe U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has suspended the air carrier certificate of Darby Aviation "until the company demonstrates to the FAA it can conduct operations in accordance with regulatory requirements." An emergency order suspending the certificate was issued by the FAA on April 8, 2010.

In its announcement of the certificate suspension, the FAA said:
Darby Aviation has failed to produce an acceptable Operations Manual or an approvable training program despite repeated FAA efforts to inform the company of the required changes in those documents. As a result, the company has no accepted Operations Manual or approved training program.

The FAA also has determined that Darby Aviation’s chief pilot and its Director of Operations are not qualified to hold their positions.

The company’s lack of proper operating guidance and its failure to follow basic regulatory requirements has undermined the FAA’s confidence in Darby Aviation’s ability to ensure safe operations.

Based on those considerations, the FAA determined that emergency action was necessary.
This is the second time since 2005 that Darby Aviation's operating certificate has been suspended.

“The FAA will not let a carrier continue to operate if it doesn’t meet strict qualifications,” FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement about the suspension. “All carriers, no matter what the size, must have approved pilot training programs. Our mission is to keep air travelers safe.”

Darby Aviation is a Part 135 operator headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The company has 10 days to appeal the emergency order.