The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday proposed a $1.6 million civil penalty against FedEx Corp. for allegedly failing to revise its maintenance program for airplane loading containers.
FAA says FedEx failed to ensure the use of approved standards, inspections and time limits for 14 cargo unit load devices used on the company's airplanes beginning in early 2008. The aircraft unit load devices are cooling containers for shipping temperature-sensitive freight, like pharmaceuticals.
The FAA says FedEx was notified of the problem in March, 2008 but didn't fix it until about a month later. The civil penalty addresses 124 flights between March 20 and April 17 of that year.
FedEx spokesman Jim McCluskey said the company believes its inspection program for the containers "exceeded both the FAA's and the manufacturer's requirements."
"We fully cooperated with the FAA and received its approval before putting the containers into service in 2007," McCluskey said. "At no time has there ever been any safety issue related to the containers."
FedEx has 30 days to respond to the FAA. It plans to appeal the fine.