FAA Proposes $530,250 Civil Penalty For Aviation Technical Services

SEATTLE – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $530,250 civil penalty against Aviation Technical Services, Inc. (ATS), an aviation repair station in Everett, Wash., for allegedly failing to follow approved procedures while maintaining 14 Southwest Airlines Boeing 737s.

Specifically, the FAA alleges ATS failed to follow Southwest’s Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) during work to accomplish five Airworthiness Directives to detect fuselage skin cracks. ATS used shortened “cradles” to support the aircraft at two of three specified points while they were off their wheels, a deviation from the Southwest CAMP.

ATS also allegedly failed to install and monitor load-measuring cells to ensure the maximum loads did not exceed limits for the engines, wings and horizontal stabilizer locations while the aircraft were suspended in the cradle. The alleged violations occurred between January 2007 and March 2008.

“We have the highest standards in place to ensure safety,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, “Maintenance work has to meet those standards wherever it is performed.”

Aviation Technical Services has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.