FAA Proposes Civil Penalty of $1.5 Million Against Atlantic Coast Airlines

Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed to assess a civil penalty of $1.5 million against Atlantic Coast Airlines, now doing business as Independence Air, for operating several of its aircraft for extended periods and thousands of flights when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleges that Atlantic Coast operated the aircraft on thousands of flights in September and October 2004 without completing required scheduled maintenance and inspections.

As an example, the FAA said Atlantic Coast failed to conduct a required heavy maintenance "C" check on one of its Canadair Regional Jets (CRJ), then operated the aircraft on approximately 455 additional flights without completing the inspection.

In another instance, the airline continued to operate a CRJ on 134 flights past the deadline for performing a required calibration of its air data computer. After the discrepancy was discovered and Atlantic Coast was notified of the requirement, the company operated it on two more flights before performing the required calibration.

The FAA also alleges the company operated several of its aircraft on more than 7,400 flights between May and October 2004 without removing and replacing expired emergency locator transmitter batteries; and several more aircraft on more than 3,600 flights without performing required inspections and tests on a variety of systems and components.

Atlantic Coast has 30 days from receipt of the proposed civil penalty letter to respond to the FAA.

Atlantic Coast has taken corrective actions to address the issues outlined in the civil penalty letter and is in compliance with FAA regulations. The FAA will continue to monitor the airline through its oversight programs, as it does with all air carriers.