Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SkyWest Airlines fined $359,000 for alleged violations of FAA regulations

by B. N. Sullivan

Today, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced proposed civil penalties (i.e, fines) against SkyWest Airlines, Inc. The FAA proposed fines totaling $359,000 for three separate alleged violations of Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA press release explains:
The FAA proposed a penalty of $220,000 for alleged failure to document heavy checked bags, motorized mobility aids and a heavy shipment carried in the cargo compartment of the company’s passenger aircraft.  As a result, the company operated the aircraft on five flights between April 21 and May 25, 2010 with incorrect weight and balance data.  The FAA alleges the violations occurred because the carrier’s employees failed to follow required procedures for documenting cargo carried on revenue passenger flights.

The other two proposed civil penalties are for allegedly operating two Bombardier Regional Jet aircraft when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

In the first case, a proposed civil penalty of $70,500, the FAA alleges SkyWest employees failed to follow the company’s Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) and the Bombardier maintenance and inspection manual during five attempts by mechanics to correct an avionics system cooling problem on one aircraft.  SkyWest operated the aircraft on at least five revenue passenger flights between July 15 and 21, 2009 when it was not in compliance.

In the second case, the FAA is proposing a civil penalty of $68,500, alleging SkyWest operated another Bombardier jet on eight revenue passenger flights between May 30 and June 1, 2010 when it was not in compliance with regulations.  The FAA alleges SkyWest mechanics failed to follow procedures required in the airline’s CAMP when replacing the right air conditioning pack’s pressure-regulating and shutoff valve.
SkyWest, which is headquartered in St. George, Utah, has 30 days to respond to the FAA.