The Federal Aviation Administration is cracking down on Delta Air Lines, after the agency claimed the carrier failed to make or took its time making necessary repairs to two planes after inspections found damages on the aircrafts. The grand total for such infractions is close to $1 million.
In the first case, an FAA inspector noticed chips on the nose cone of a Boeing 737 during a pre-flight inspection back in February 2010, reports CNN. The chips were in the part of the nose that houses weather radar and navigational equipment, and were deep enough to show the fiberglass underneath, says the FAA.
The captain notified Delta’s maintenance center, where its officials then told the FAA inspector the damage was acceptable and no further maintenance was required. Not so, said the inspector after further research, and the FAA subsequently found Delta had wrongly flown the plane 20 times in the five days after finding the damage. That alleged infraction could cost Delta a proposed $687,500.
The other case involves a $300,000 fine for operating an Airbus A320 on 884 flights between 2010 and 2011 after Delta allegedly deferred repair of a broken cockpit floodlight socket. It’s okay for one of the four dime lights to be inoperative for no more than 10 days, but the FAA says the plane was in the air for seven months with broken equipment.
“Safety is our highest priority,” FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement about the proposed fines. “Operators must follow the proper procedures to maintain their aircraft.”
Delta responded with a statement of its own today, saying:
“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.”