FAA to Fine American Airlines Record $25 Million for MD-80 Maintenance Problems
Such a fine would be nearly three times larger than the current record civil penalty of $9.5 million, issued against Eastern Air Lines in 1987 for delaying required repairs.
WSJ reports that FAA officials are seeking to set an example out of American, with some experts predicting a fine as high as $30 million. Proposals of a $100 million fine were reportedly rejected by senior FAA officials.
Though rarely followed to the tee, FAA rules dictate that airlines can be fined up to $25,000 for each offending flight. American operated over 15,000 flights on MD-80s without required wiring modifications, which would add up to a $375 million penalty.
American is expected to attempt to negotiate the fine when it is issued, as airlines have done successfully in the past. In 2008, Southwest Airlines convinced the FAA to reduce a $10.5 million fine to $7.5 million.
American Airlines officials had no comment other than to say that the airline “has always maintained its aircraft to the highest standards.”