Accusing Southwest Airlines Co. of serious and deliberate safety violations, federal aviation regulators proposed a record $10.2 million civil penalty against the carrier for operating more than 61,000 flights over nearly a year without performing mandatory inspections for potentially hazardous structural problems.I can't remember if I've ever flown on a Southwest Airline. I am now hoping that I never have, at least not in the past year!
The penalty is believed to be the largest such fine ever imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration on a major U.S. passenger carrier. The maintenance problems have prompted investigations by the Department of Transportation and a congressional committee, which are looking at both the low-fare carrier and allegations of lax oversight by the FAA.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Andy Pasztor writes: