FAA Proposes Near-Million Dollar Fine Against Delta for Two Aircraft Issues

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed levying two civil penalties against Delta Air Lines totaling $987,500 for separate non-compliance issues.

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Fines for 2010 Non-Compliance Issues

Both fines involve incidents that took place more than two years ago. In the first, an FAA inspector discovered a chip on the nose cone of one of Delta’s Boeing 737 planes back in February 2010, a chip that was apparently not immediately sealed as required.

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In the second incident which took place in May 2010, an inspector found a broken cockpit floodlight socket in an Airbus A320 which was also not immediately repaired. The FAA says both planes made several flights while in non-compliance, and the FAA alleges the cockpit socket issue was not fixed or put into compliance for several months.

Delta’s Response: Safety Never an Issue

It appears Delta disagrees with the FAA at least as far as the agency’s timeline is concerned. FareCompare contacted Delta spokesperson Ashley Black for comment and received this email response: “The safety and security of our customers and crew is Delta’s highest core value. At no time was either of these aircraft operating in an unsafe manner. Once Delta verified the concerns of the FAA, Delta initiated immediate and necessary actions to ensure that the aircraft were in full compliance with the regulatory requirements.”

FAA Penalties Sometimes ‘Negotiable’

Again, it is important to note that the FAA fines at this point are merely proposed penalties. Sometimes, the actual fines are dismissed or eventually negotiated down to lesser sums, though that is not always the case.

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Published: July 11, 2012