FAA proposes $1 million fine for skipping safety steps
Aviation Authority on Monday propose slapped United Airlines with a $1.15 million fine over safety concerns about how it operates some 777 aircraft.
United has removed an important safety measure – testing a fire warning system – from a list of actions that crews must complete before each flight of the 777s, the Federal Aviation Administration said. on Monday. According to the agency, the airline did not perform a fire warning test between June 2018 and April 2021.
“The inspection is required in the maintenance specification manuals” of the 777s made by Boeing, the FAA said in a statement. “The removal of the check resulted in United not performing the required checks and the aircraft’s operation not meeting the airworthiness requirements.”
United called the testing “redundant” and said the 2018 change to the fire system inspection dropout process was approved by the FAA at the time. The airline said it “immediately updated its procedures” when the FAA later said the checks had to be carried out by the pilots.
“The safety of our flights has never been questioned,” the airline said in a statement.
An official familiar with the matter said the fire system inspection was canceled when United merged its processes for the 777 and 787. A 787 computer would automatically perform the test, the official this said.
United, in its statement, said checks are now also “automatically performed by the 777”.
The $1.1 million fine would be a small sum for an airline as big as United, which had $7.2 billion in cash on its balance sheet at the end of last year – enough to pay the bill. fines 6,500 times. United is profitable again after two years of heavy losses caused by the pandemic.